Adri’s recipe for the most famous dish in the Middle East
This falafel is made only with chickpeas. Other recipes may include fava beans (have not tried it out with those yet). Have you read my take on this dish: The Falafel Cult?
Yield: 6 x 6 balls of 25gr
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
300 g dry chickpeas, soak in water over night
120 ml oil
120 g parsley, chopped roughly
80 g bread crumbs
1 1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp salt
4 medium-large garlic cloves, minced
- Soak the chickpeas over night (do not cook!).
- Wash and drain the water.
- Grind the chickpeas together with the parsley and garlic. Depending on your size of food processor you will need to do that in 2-4 batches in order to keep a similar consistency: fill the processor with chickpeas till covering the top blade, then top with parsley and a garlic clove. Process the chickpeas until they are the size of coarse gomasio or a size between couscous and cracked wheat. Refer to picture. Place all in a bowl, add the bread crumbs and mix well.
- Add the egg, oil, spices, and baking soda to the chickpea mixture and blend by hand until the mixture combines well together. How will you know when its ready? Test it! Make a small ball and press it between two fingers. If the ball crumbles or cracks easily its not ready. Continue mixing or add some more crumbs. Be careful not to add too many crumbs so the mixture does not become soggy later.
- Fill a pot with frying oil – enough to almost cover a falafel ball. Heat over medium-high heat. While the oil is heating make the falafel balls.
- Using your hands make falafel balls that are slightly smaller than a ping-pong ball. Test the oil temperature for readyness by placing a tiny bit of chickpea mix in the oil. If it starts fizzing and bubbling immediately and floats within a second or two the oil is ready for frying. It is very important that the oil is hot enough; otherwise the balls will crumble in the oil. At first test with one falafel ball. Place it gently in the oil using a spoon. If the ball doesn’t rise within 30 seconds to a minute at most, help it by lifting it gently with a spoon (it may have stuck to the bottom). The ball should be ready when it is dark golden brown and the skin feels hard and crunchy, within 3-5 minutes. Lift out of oil and place on a tray, cover with foil or place in lightly warm oven to keep warm. Add 5-10 more balls depending on size of the pot (do not overcrowd). By the time you are frying the last batch you may need to lower the heat to avoid cooking the balls to fast.
Once you know how to make the basic falafel you can start playing with variations. For a little more gourmet style falafel you can mix it with other herbs, nuts, or even a little grated cheese. Like the hummus recipe (see link) you can make the falafel with sun-dried tomatoes by using 2 pieces per serving (6 balls); just chop them roughly and grind in the processor together with the chickpea mix. Basil pesto is also a fun-tastic variation. Add fresh basil in exchange for parsley and some pine nuts if you like (a little grated parmesan is possible also). Fresh coriander will give the falafel a sharper, clean taste. Another herb combination is dill and mint. I think this is enough to get your imagination going.
You may choose to make extra portions of the raw chickpea mixture for chickpea burgers. One portion (6 balls) will make a nice size burger that can be baked or fried in a pan. You can keep the mixture for the next day or freeze it. More on planning4Leftovers…
Recipe by Adri