Falafel

There are 2 secrets to a great falafel:

  1. Start with dried chickpeas, never canned
  2. Use a food processor or press by hand… it’s all about the texture

Ingredients

1 lb dried chickpeas
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped parsley
3-4 grated garlic cloves (roast the garlic if you prefer)
3 tbsp chickpea flour (or regular flour)
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Vegetable oil for frying

Play with the spice mixes to accommodate your taste.
You can also play with the flavors by adding cilantro, extra parsley, turmeric, etc.

Instructions

Soak your dried chickpeas for 24 hours.  Change the water 3-4 few times.  I usually add hot water to speed up the process.  Foam should appear on the water surface.  The more you change the water, the better.  If the chickpeas haven’t softened up a bit after 24 hours and you’d like to speed up the process, try boiling them for 10 minutes.  The chickpeas will double in size

In a food processor, add all ingredients and pulse until ground, but not smooth.  You want some texture.

If you only have a blender, add all ingredients EXCEPT for the chickpeas into the blender and pulse.  Then add the chickpeas and pulse slowly, trying not to over-blend.

Alternatively, you can use the blender to blend all ingredients EXCEPT for chickpeas, mash the chickpeas in a separate bowl with a masher or the bottom of a can, then mix together by hand.

The texture should look like this:

Fork stirring falafel mixture in a bowl.

Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours

Fill a skillet or pot with vegetable or grapeseed oil.

Form the falafel into egg-sized balls.  I like pressing them juuust slightly so they’re not a perfect ball.

Test fry one of them to ensure the oil is at the right temperature.  It should take 2-3 minutes per side to brown

Fry a batch and lay onto paper towels when ready!

 

Eat them by themselves, or make a pita sandwich with pita bread, falafel, lettuce, tomato, tahini, pickle, or whatever you like!

Serve with some delicious Raita or Tzatziki!

George Christidis