New Recipe – Falafel or Chickpea Balls “Medici Coat of Arms”*)

In our kitchen there is an oval plate with an aubergine-coloured border. It belonged to my husband´s great-grand-father Otto who was officer in a hussar regiment and who painted in his leisure hours. There are still paintings in the family, sometimes one can find an original “Otto” (that´s how he signed the paintings, s. the sketches below) at an auction.


In the diaries of his father I read that he once painted a coffee set and gave it as a gift to his parents. I have the impression that this plate was also painted by him as there are failures (spots) in the upper layer probably from the glaze baking that occurred certainly in a small manufacture. It was quite sure not baked by Herend, Meissen or Augarten. Anyway, I love it because of its story and because of the beautiful cardinal color that can be seen on the lower part of the photo.

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  • Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas / gabanzo beans or 1 jar canned chickpeas (must be best quality and organic)
  • ½ onion
  • 2 gloves garlic
  • ½ cup parsley leaves (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 – 2 tsp curry powder
  • ¼ – ½ cup nut or oatmeal
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 – 2 Tsp oil
  • black pepper, chili flakes

For chefs: Soak the dried chickpeas, covered with water, for at least 24 hours. Rinse. Easier: use canned chickpeas.

Add chickpeas and ½ onion into the food processor. Process until finely chopped. Take it out, leave about 1 cup in the food processor, add garlic, parsley, coriander, cumin and curry powder and blend to combine.

Put everything (the reserved chickpea mixture) into the food processor bowl, add lemon juice, nut or oatmeal and oil and process until it becomes a “dough”.

Preheat oven to 180° C.

With your hands – better with an ice cream scoop – form balls and place on a greased baking sheet and bake for about 30 – 40 minutes.

Serve warm or cold as an “Easter Nest” on green salad leaves. Unfortunately, the English speaking world doesn´t know this custom. Our “nest” was made of rocket leaves, tomatoes and blue onion and resembles … the Medici coat of arms.

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* The Medici´s family emblem: a number of originally red balls on a gold shield, has long been the object of historical speculation. It is used to say that these were pawnbroker´s coins or medicinal pills or cupping glasses that refer to the family´s origins as bankers, doctors, druggists or pharmacists.


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