Spiced Falafel

Falafel, the deep fried balls of chickpeas or fava beans infused with Middle Eastern spices and herbs, are very easy to prepare at home. If you aren't familiar with them, imagine a Middle Eastern version of a hush puppy. We love these savory bites in sandwiches but also served as walnut-sized appetizer bites with Tzatziki or Amba (Pickled Mango Sauce). Serve hot right out of the fryer or at room temperature. We prefer using dried chickpeas for this recipe instead of canned, the texture difference is undeniable.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 3/4 cup onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 T. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 T. finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. Aleppo pepper
  • 2 t. garlic
  • 1 t. cumin seeds
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 4-6 T. flour
  • Soybean or vegetable oil for frying

 

PREPARATION:

Soak chickpeas overnight in cold water, or used canned chickpeas, drained.

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

Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour and pulse. You want enough flour so that the dough forms a small ball and does not stick to your hands. Place in bowl and refrigerate for several hours.

Form chickpea mixture into balls the size of walnuts. 

Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees F in a deep pot or wok. Fry about 6 balls at a time, for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Makes about 20 balls.

Thank you to Joan Nathan, The Foods of Israel Today.