Falafel is one of those foods people often eat out at restaurants, but rarely at home. That’s the case with me, at least. It’s silly though, because falafel is so easy and cheap to make and when you do it at home, you can make it precisely to your liking. This is probably why I eat out less and less these days- if I can make it better at home, why bother? Below, I’ve indicated the amount of each ingredient I used, but feel free to adjust it to your taste. Falafel is pretty forgiving so you can experiment without too much risk.
Ingredients: (Makes about a dozen falafel balls)
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s recipe
1 1/2 cups dried chick peas (soaked overnight in cold water)
1/2 small yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried parsley flakes (or you could use fresh if you’ve got it, or cilantro too)
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground chili powder
juice and zest of 1/2 large lemon (save the other 1/2 for later)
1/2 tsp baking soda
salt and pepper (to taste)
canola oil (for frying)
You can eat the falafel plain, on top of a salad or stuffed in a pita. If you’re planning to eat them in a pita, you’ll need whole wheat pita, sour cream, hummus, lettuce, sliced onion, and bit amore lemon juice, cumin, and garlic (in addition to the ingredients listed above). Oh, and I like to add a bit of chili oil too! What can I say? I like my food spicy.
Start with the dried chick peas.
Soak them overnight submerged in cold water. They will puff up to nearly 3 times the size. They’ll go from this…
Be sure to make room in your fridge.
Next, combine the chickpeas, onion, spices, baking soda, lemon juice/zest, garlic, and parsley in a food processor. My food processor is a mini, so I had to blend it in batches (kind of a pain). Add salt and pepper at this point as well.
Now, get your oil ready. On the stove top, heat a pan with about 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of oil in the bottom. Be generous with the oil- you don’t want your frying pan to burn up!
Nice and easy. You can do it! Now, crank up the heat while you make the falafel balls.
Transfer the mix from the food processor into a mixing bowl. Add in additional spices if needed. The mixture will be wet, so make a patty in your palm and squeeze the heck out of it. This will drain out the moisture and make the ball stick together in the hot oil. If the mix is too wet, it will disintegrate in the pan. Add a bit of flour or breadcrumbs if you need a drier mix.
Drop the balls in hot oil (that’s what she said!). Cook until brown at the edges and then flip.
That’s a good lookin’ fry!
Put the falafel on a plate with paper towels to sop off some of the excess oil.
Now, set up your fixins. Make a sour cream sauce by mixing 2 tblsps sour cream with one clove of minced garlic, a dash of cumin, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Stir like crazy until creamy dreamy.
Make a little buffet with all your toppings- sour cream, sliced onion, crisp lettuce, hot chili oil, hummus, etc.
Stuff all your favorites inside a whole wheat pita and go to town.
Who need to go out for falafel when you can make this at home?
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