Middle Eastern Falafel Recipe
Falafel from scratch to Arabs is like hamburgers are to Americans. This street food is very popular all over the Middle East. There are many versions of falafel depending on where you live in the Middle East. In Egypt they use fava beans and leeks, but the more common is the chickpea.
It is a vegetarian dish that is full of protein, satisfying and healthy. Authentic falafel patties are served with tomatoes, pickled cucumbers, lettuce and a drizzle of a lemony tahini sauce. We like to add fill-fill, which is a spicy cilantro, garlic mix. I got this recipe for both the falafel and fill-fill from my Palestinian friend in Israel.
2 cups dried chickpeas known as garbanzo beans
5 cloves of garlic
1 small onion finely chopped
2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoons coriander
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1/2 a pita bread
½ teaspoon baking powder
4 cups canola oil
Place the chickpeas into a pot and rinse them with cold water. Drain, and place them back into the pot. Cover with water by 3 – 4 inches, the beans will triple in volume as they soak. Let them sit in the water overnight until they swell. Drain the beans and set aside until they are completely dry. Make sure this process is done or they will fall apart while cooking.
Combine the 1 cup beans, garlic, onion, parsley into a food processor. Process by turning on and off, push down sides in order to incorporate. Once it is finely ground remove and place it into a mixing bowl. Now add the remaining 1 cup beans, cilantro, ½ pita bread(or bread crumbs) and finely grind them also.
Stir the ground mixture well until all the herbs are combined. Now place all the falafel mix into a fine meshed colander, to remove any liquid that remains in the falafel mix.
Add the drained falafel dough to a mixing bowl along with the coriander, cumin, salt, pepper and cayenne. Mix well until all the ingredients are combined. Cover and let rest for 2 hours at room temperature.
Before frying the falafel incorporate the baking powder into the dough.
Prepare the falafel patties by scooping out a walnut sized ball and place on a tray. Line with paper towels another tray for fried patties.
Heat the oil to 350°- 365° in a large frying pan or try a chinese wok if you have one.
If you don’t have a temperature gauge you can put a tiny amount of the falafel mixture in the oil. If it bubbles and floats to the top it is ready. Don’t crowd the falafel patties. When the patties are browned and float to the top of the oil flip them over and continue to cook until dark brown, roughly 5 minutes in all.
Keep the falafel patties warm by placing them into a low oven.
Serve falafel hot with Pita bread, hummus, tomatoes, pickles, lettuce and Fill-Fill