Falafel

So I dove into trying some Middle Eastern food this week. It was fun! The falafel turned out nothing like the deep fried falafel balls you get at those fast food joints, but it was still good! If you have a deep fryer, I am sure your falafel will be more true-to-form, but mine was more along the lines of fried chick-pea patties. Still tasty, but different. With that disclaimer, here’s how I did it. From what I have read, you’ll want to start with dried chickpeas, soak them overnight and cook them if you want true falafel texture. If you use the canned chickpeas, you might have your falafel balls falling apart while you try to fry them. Then again, I started with dried chickpeas, and mine fell apart while I tried to fry them…so take that for what it’s worth! Here’s the recipe:

  • 2 cups chickpeas, cooked according to package directions (or canned)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup fresh parsley (Many recipes also call for cilantro…you could do all cilantro, or a mixture of parsley/cilantro)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4  teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2  tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying (I used olive oil…could do canola, grapeseed or peanut as well)

Method

Using a food processor, pulverize chickpeas, but only until they form a paste — too smooth, and the batter may fall apart when cooking. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the oil) and mix to combine. Batter should be grainy, speckled with herbs, and a shade of pistachio green. Taste for salt.

Refrigerate batter about one hour, until firm. Remove from fridge and shape batter into 1-inch balls (a tablespoon measure is helpful). Don’t fiddle too much with dough. Place on a baking tray and cover with plastic wrap. Return to fridge and chill for an additional 15 minutes.

If you have a deep fryer, use it now. If you don’t, heat your oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Fry the balls/patties on each side until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel.

Makes about 16-20.

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