Falafel

This is one of those recipes I’ve been meaning to write for a long time.  I make it over and over, with many tiny flavor variations.  I serve the IMG_9501falafel with pita, or salad, pickled red onions, with rice or tomatoes.  I tell my children they are like crispy meatballs, but there is no meat whatsoever.  They are flavorful herbaceous light and fluffy chickpea fritters. One of the many wonderful things to do with chickpeas (I use this particular ingredient a TON, it’s a chameleon and so delicious)

The key I believe to great falafel, is in the soaking.  Use dried chickpeas and soak them at least overnight, 24 hours is better.  So there is a little planning ahead here but the texture is MUCH better than what you would get with canned chickpeas.  Its lighter, fluffier so much  better, in this case save the can for another recipe.

After the soaking I whiz the soaked chickpeas with raw onion, herbs, garlic and spices.  A bit of baking soda helps keep things fluffy.  Then I fry (yes I believe this is the first fried recipe on this website) in olive oil, which adds another delicious layer of flavor.  My very favorite thing to serve this with is a sauce made from 1/3 tahini – a sesame seed paste, 1/3 water, and 1/3 fresh lemon juice, which is also quick and great on a salad by the way.

Falafel

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • olive oil for frying

Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain off all of the water.

Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Pulse until blended but not pureed.

Sprinkle in the baking powder  aIMG_9507nd pulse. Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts, or use a small ice cream scoop.

Heat 3 inches of oil to 375ºF, its great if you have a frying thermometer but you don’t have to, if not then drop in 1 ball to test. If it sinks and doesn’t sizzle then increase the heat, if it turns brown immediately, then turn the heat down.   Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

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