Falafel (super, super scrumptious and maybe healthy?)

May 24, 2015 § Leave a comment

I’d been wanting to try to make my own falafel for a while now. Always taking an opportunity as it arises to try a new recipe, I thought a picnic with a vegetarian friend was just that opportunity to go ahead and finally take the plunge. 

These falafel remind me of those from a local Raleigh restaurant, Neomonde, that makes the best that I’ve tried. They have a bright green interior, crunchy on the outside nice and delicate and creamy on the inside with the perfect blend of fresh and dried herbs and spices. 

I made these pretty much following this recipe from The View from Great Island. I didn’t want to deep fry, so I made them into thick discs and pan fried them. Using dried chickpeas (soaked overnight) is key to the texture. See the original post for notes if you want to try canned ones. 

The stuff

3 cups chickpeas that have been soaked overnight (measure after soaking)–start with 1 1/2 – 2 cups dried chickpeas

1/2 medium red onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 Serrano chili

a large handful of parsley, ~1 cup

a large handful of cilantro, ~1 cup

zest of 1 lemon

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp ground coriander

1 Tbsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp garam masala or cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 Tbsp flour

~3 Tbsp vegetable oil for frying, more or less depending on how you want to cook them
The plan

  1. Rinse then soak the chickpeas overnight or at least 12 hours in lots of water. Drain well then spread out on a paper towel lined baking sheet to remove any excess water. 
  2. Quarter the half onion and chop in a food processor. Add garlic and the chili, followed by the parsley and cilantro. Process until finely minced, scraping the bowl down as needed. 
  3. Add the zest, lemon juice, coriander, cumin, garam masala/cinnamon, salt and chickpeas. Pulse in second long bursts until the mixture is even and finely ground. It shouldn’t get to a paste, because then it’s pretty much hummus. It is ready when a bit of the mixture holds together when you press it between your fingers.
  4. Add the baking soda and flour and either pulse 1-2 more times or gently mix it in a bowl. 
  5. Form the mixture into discs from about 2 Tbsp of the mixture. I put them in the fridge for a couple hours to help them firm up prior to cooking. These were fairly delicate but did hold together. 
  6. Heat oil in a skillet. Work in batches so you don’t crowd your pan. Fry the falafel for about 6-7 minutes, until they are a nice deep brown on both sides, flipping gently after a few minutes. 
  7. Drain on a paper towel or cool them on a rack. 
  8. Serve with a tahini sauce (1/2 cup tahini, juice of half a lemon, pinch of salt, and enough water to thin it out–several Tbsp), greens or other items of your liking. 
  9. Enjoy! This should make about 24 small falafel.

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