Monday, August 25, 2014


It's falafel time! Are you familiar with falafel? They are made from ground chickpeas along with spices and then formed into balls and deep-fried in oil. What's not to love? Hehe. They are a popular street food in the Middle East (and all over now) and are commonly eaten in a pita topped with pickled vegetables or salad and tahini sauce. I first tried falafel a few years ago when we lived in Pittsburgh and I loved it! Since then I've been wanting to try making them at home, but never got around to it until my super awesome sister Heidi came to visit last month. We made them together and they were SOOO good! There is a lot of wait time and you have to plan in advance if you want to make them, but the actual time spent working is quite minimal. Looking at this picture makes my mouth water! I better make them again soon!
My cute sister Heidi! Falafel-frying extraordinaire!

You'll need to start soaking your chickpeas the day before you want to make this and then the mixture has to sit in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours after you combine everything, so plan ahead! You also need a food processor or powerful blender to make these. Makes about 30 falafels.

1 lb. (about 2 cups) dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans
1 small onion, quartered
1/4 cup. fresh parsley
3-5 cloves garlic
1.5 T. 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, or peanut)

The night before you plan to serve these, pour the chickpeas into a large bowl and cover them by about 3 inches of water. Let them soak overnight. They will double in size. They will still be quite hard, but don't despair, they'll chop up just fine.

1-2 hours before you cook the falafel, drain and rinse the garbanzo beans well. Pour them into the food processor along with the onion, garlic, parsley, flour, salt, cumin, coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and cardamom (everything but the oil).

Pulse all ingredients together until a rough, coarse meal forms. You may have to scrape down the sides several times. Process until the mixture is somewhere between the texture of couscous and a paste. You want the mixture to hold together when you clump it with your fingers, but you don't want it so processed that it turns into hummus/mush.

Once the mixture has reached the desired consistency, pour it out into a bowl and use a fork to stir. Remove any large chickpea chunks the processor may have missed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

Remove from the refrigerator and fill a skillet or saucepan with oil to a depth of at least 1.5 inches. Heat the oil slowly over medium heat. Meanwhile, form the falafel mixture into round balls using wet hands or a cookie scoop, about 2 T. per ball. They should stick together quite well. If not, you may need to process them more until they become more paste-like.

Test your oil by dropping a tiny amount of the mix in the oil. If it sizzles and bubbles, you are ready to go! You can also fry a whole ball first to check your temperature. It should take about 2-3 minutes per side to get nice and deep golden brown. If it's faster than that, your oil is too hot and the middle will not be cooked all the way, but you also don't want them to take longer than that or they will get dried out.

Fry about 5 or more at a time, depending on how much space you have. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel-lined plate.

Serve the falafels fresh and hot. They are best alongside hummus or creamy tahini or stuffed into a pita.

Source: Tori Avey

1 comment:

Cassie said...

YUM!!! I have been wanting to make these! Thanks for the recipe!