Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Favorite Falafel

I love falafel and this recipe is awesome. It is the first falafel recipe I've tried and I think I really lucked out and found a great one! The recipe is from The Foods of Israel Today, by Joan Nathan. The recipe says that it makes about 20 walnut sized falafel, but I have found that in order to get that amount, I need to double the recipe.

My Favorite Falafel

1 cup dried chickpeas
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro (I skipped this, Joe is allergic!)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2-1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon baking powder
4-6 tablespoons flour
Soybean or vegetable oil for frying
Chopped tomato for garnish
Diced onion for garnish
Diced green bell pepper for garnish
Tahina sauce
Pita bread (I used whole wheat pita bread)

1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained. I have tried this recipe with canned chickpeas and with dried- tastes great both ways.

2. Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.

3. Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough bulgur or flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.

4. Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts, or use a falafel scoop, available in Middle-Eastern markets.

5. Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Stuff half a pita with falafel balls, chopped tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and pickled turnips. Drizzle with tahina thinned with water.

NOTE: Egyptians omit the cilantro and substitute fava beans for the chickpeas.


Kayte said...

this looks wonderful! i have been wanting to try falafel for a long time. i will be saving this recipe.

Ally said...

That recipe sounds wonderful! I love falafel, I'll have to make some real soon!

Katie said...

I love falafel so much. Even my husband adores it. The only problem is that frying tends to make my house smell. Boo...but sometimes it's totally worth it!