Falafel Arabic: فلافل is a deep-fried ball, doughnut or patty made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both. Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern food, commonly served in a pita topped with chopped mix salad, drizzled with tahini based sauce & hot sauce or simply eaten alone and dip in hummus, musabbaha, mousaka or mutabbal dip! Your choice...
- 1 pound (about 2 cups) dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans - you must start with dry, do NOT substitute canned, they will not work!
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 3-5 cloves garlic (I prefer roasted)
- 1 1/2 tbsp flour
- 1 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Pinch of ground cardamom
- Vegetable oil for frying (grapeseed, canola, and peanut oil work well)
YOU WILL ALSO NEED
- Food processor, skillet
Servings: 30-34 falafels
- Pour the chickpeas into a large bowl and cover them by about 3 inches of cold water. Let them soak overnight. They will double in size as they soak – you will have between 4 and 5 cups of beans after soaking.
- Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans well. Pour them into your food processor along with the chopped onion, garlic cloves, parsley, flour, salt, cumin, ground coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and cardamom.
- Note: Some people like to add baking soda to the mix to lighten up the texture inside of the falafel balls. I don’t usually add it, since the falafel is generally pretty fluffy on its own. If you would like to add it, dissolve 2 tsp of baking soda in 1 tbsp of water and mix it into the falafel mixture after it has been refrigerated.
- Fill a skillet with vegetable oil to a depth of 1 ½ inches. I prefer to use cooking oil with a high smoke point, like grapeseed. Heat the oil slowly over medium heat. Meanwhile, form falafel mixture into round balls or slider-shaped patties using wet hands or a falafel scoop. I usually use about 2 tbsp of mixture per falafel. You can make them smaller or larger depending on your personal preference. The balls will stick together loosely at first, but will bind nicely once they begin to fry.
- Note: if the balls won't hold together, place the mixture back in the processor again and continue processing to make it more paste-like. Keep in mind that the balls will be delicate at first; if you can get them into the hot oil, they will bind together and stick. If they still won't hold together, you can try adding 2-3 tbsp of flour to the mixture. If they still won't hold, add 1-2 eggs to the mix. This should fix any issues you are having.
- image: http://toriavey.com/images/2011/01/Falafel-8-640x480.jpgSave
- Troubleshooting: If your falafel is too hard/too crunchy on the outside, there are two possible reasons-- 1) you didn't process the mixture enough-- return the chickpea mixture to the processor to make it more paste-like. 2) the chickpeas you used were old. Try buying a fresher batch of dried chickpeas next time.
- EGYPTIAN FALAFEL: Use 1 lb. dried fava beans instead of chickpeas; cover them with cold water, soak them for at least 24 hours, then drain, rinse and peel them. You can also use a mixture of fava beans and chickpeas if you wish; just make sure the weight of the dried beans adds up to 1 lb.
- After the beans are soaked and rinsed, add the Classic Falafel ingredients to the processor along with the following ingredients – 1 leek, cleaned, trimmed, and quartered; ¼ cup chopped dill; ¼ cup chopped cilantro; and an additional ¾ tsp cayenne pepper. When mixture is processed to a coarse meal, pour into a bowl. Stir 2 ½ tbsp sesame seeds into the mixture with a fork until it’s evenly dispersed throughout the mixture. Refrigerate and proceed with frying. If mixture seems too “wet” when making the falafel balls, add additional flour by the teaspoonful until the mixture sticks together better. Continue with frying.
- HOW TO MAKE A FALAFEL PITA: Making a falafel pita is actually really simple. The two main ingredients are pita bread and falafel.
- Cut the pita bread in half to form two “pockets.” Each pocket is a serving size. Stuff the pocket with falafel, as well as any add-ons you fancy. Tahini, tomatoes, parsley and pickles are a favourite.