Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern food made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both. The food may be prepared as deep-fried balls or as a fritter wrapped in pita or flatbread. The falafel is a vegetarian’s delight.
The nutritious meal is high in protein, fiber, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and other vital nutrients. It is also low in fat, courtesy of its key ingredient, chickpeas which contain no cholesterol.
Falafel is sold in street shops and restaurants. Restaurants, like DonerG, make falafel in a signature style. However, you can make falafel to your taste at home, thanks to its simple recipe.
- 1b dry chickpeas
- A small ball of onion
- ¼ cup of fresh herbs such as parsley and cilantro
- ¼ teaspoon spices such as cumin, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and coriander
- 2-4 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 11/2 tablespoon chickpea flour
- Oil for frying
*Do not make use of canned chickpeas
*This recipe makes for six servings
How to Make Falafel
- Soak your chickpeas in a bowl of cold water for at least 12 hours, preferably 24 hours. Add half a teaspoon of baking powder which will help soften the chickpeas.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Add the sliced onions, herbs, spices, garlic, chickpeas, and other ingredients into your food processor, and pulse away.
- Pulse the mix until you get a coarse texture. Do not let the mixture be too smooth. You want a consistency that will hold together.
- Pour the mix into a bowl and add the baking powder and flour. Add more flour if you have a watery paste.
- Cover the bowl with a wrap, then place in the refrigerator for at least an hour to thicken the texture.
- Shape your falafel. You can make balls out of the mix or form patties.
You can cook falafel in two ways:
- Frying, which is the traditional and better way of cooking falafel
- Baking, which is a healthier way of cooking falafel
- Fill a skillet pan with about 3 inches of frying oil. This could be avocado, sunflower, or olive oil. Heat the oil on medium-high heat to about 370 F. Do not let the oil get too hot as the balls may fall apart.
- Gently drop the balls into the oil. Fry for about 3-5 minutes until they turn brown on the outside. Do not overcrowd the pan. Fry in batches.
Note: Perfectly cooked falafel is brown on the outside and fluffy, and green on the inside.
- Heat the oven to 350 F. Oil lightly on the baking sheet. Brush each of the patties with oil and bake for 15-25 minutes, flipping them halfway.
Homemade falafel is best served hot. It can be served with hummus, sauce, tomatoes, pickles, wrapped in pita or flatbread, or dipped in sesame seeds. It can be eaten as breakfast, lunch, or dinner with various delectable side dishes.
And that is it on making your falafel at home. It’s easy to make but a little time-consuming. So if you need to satisfy an immediate craving, you can place an instant order for freshly made falafel balls from a reputable restaurant.