I would usually buy Falafel from Middle Eastern grocery store here in Houston. I wanted to make it at home for longtime, but as usual put it aside to another time. Finally yesterday for tea I made falafel. While I would think of making falafel I always thought I need to make some pita bread too along with it. I changed my mind and decide to make only falafel this time and will make pita bread later.
Another reason to make falafel was I had borrowed The Lebanese ktichen by Salma Hage from Library, and wanted to try a couple of dishes.
I read that falafel is made with chickpeas alone and also a combo of fava beans. In Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel and Palestine falafel is made with chickpeas alone. In Egypt falafel is made with fava beans. It is usually served in a pita, which acts as a pocket, or wrapped in a flatbread known as lafa/Iraqi flatbread. Then falafel balls are topped with salads, pickled vegetables, hot sauce, and drizzled with tahini-based sauces. Falafel balls may also be eaten alone as a snack or served as part of a meze (appetizers served as part of alcoholic drinks). It is also an important street food in Middle East. There is a mold to make falafel which is called aleb falafel. I don’t have one in my hand, may be next time when I visit Phoenicia, I will try to get one.
Earlier once I had made falafel but it was not great recipe. This recipe is really traditional. In this falafel recipe you need both parsley and cilantro (coriander leaves). I always buy cilantro s, but parsley is a rare commodity in my kitchen, so this time I made sure to get a bunch of parsley, I bought Italian parsley. You need little planning for making this recipe; first soak the chickpeas overnight, next morning grind them with parsley, and cilantro, spices, baking powder . I didn’t grind the onion and salt along with it and also reduced the amount of baking powder a little and also added some chili powder that was change I made in this recipe. Then mix everything and chill it in refrigerator for 5 hours or overnight. I have given 5 hours of chilling.
When you are ready for frying, heat the oil and fry few at a time, give few flips to make sure that it cooks evenly on all side. Drain and serve warm with tahini sauce. My kids enjoyed with ketchup. It is great snack to go with tea. It tastes similar to parippu vada/lentil fritters maybe we can say a cousin to it.
Give it try you will enjoy it. If you have pita bread then go ahead and serve as sandwich. Here comes the recipe.
- 1 cup dried chickpeas (Soaked overnight)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 small onion (½ heaping cup chopped)
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (approximately 6 sprigs)
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (approximately 6 sprigs)
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- Canola oil fry
- Soak dried chickpeas over night, Next morning, wash and drain and set aside.
- In a food processor/mixer/blender first grind parsley, cilantro leaves and garlic.
- Then add chickpeas, ground cumin, coriander, chili powder, dried mint and pepper.
- Once it is coarsely grind then, add salt and baking soda and mix well.
- Then add chopped onion and incorporate into the dough once again.
- Chill the dough for 5 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
- When you are ready for frying heat oil and when the oil become hot around 375F.
- From the dough first make small round ball.
- Then press slightly from the sides to make it flatten.
- Fry them into the hot oil; flip two or more times to make uniform frying on both sides. When it is ready sizzling of oil stops and falafel comes to top.
- Remove them using a slotted spoon and drain it kitchen towel.
- Serve them as snack with tahini sauce or serve them in pita bread pocket as sandwich.
This recipe is adapted from The Lebanese kitchen by Salma Hage
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