For some reason, I always thought falafel was extremely hard to make. Pfft! Not at all! I guess it’s only because I’m not familiar with them, for they were never really a part of my diet growing up. But really, they are extremely easy to make: just throw everything in the food processor and process away! It’s almost like making meatballs…
Sure, they do require a bit of planning, because you do need to soak the chickpeas and then, once you’ve prepared the mix, you still have to let it rest. Let’s just say it’s not something you’ll want to whip up on a hectic weeknight.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying it’s not possible to make them on a weeknight. You just need to plan ahead. You want to eat falafel on Wednesday? No problem. You’ll need to soak your chickpeas on Monday, make your mix on Tuesday and finally, on Wednesday, you can shape and cook them. That’s pretty much what I did this week, and it worked out beautifully.
Of course, the mixture doesn’t have to rest for so long, but you have to give it at least a couple of hours, else, from what I understand, the falafels will just fall apart.
Oh, and of course, if you’re in a hurry, you can always speed up the process by using canned chickpeas. However, I must say that it was my first time making them with raw chickpeas and I found them to be far superior, not only as far as taste is concerned, but also texture wise.
- 1½ cup dried chickpeas
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 1½ teaspoon cumin
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- 4 tablespoons bulgur wheat
- 4 tablespoons whole wheat flour
- Olive oil for pan frying
- Tahini sauce (mix 1 part tahini to 3 parts water)
- Mini whole wheat pita bread
- Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained.
- Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, salt, cayenne pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.
- Sprinkle in the baking powder, bulgur and flour, and pulse. You want to add enough bulgur and flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
- Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts.
- Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat; Cook falafels until nice and golden on all sides, about 15 minutes total.
- Serve in mini pita breads and drizzle with tahina thinned with water.
Looking for a tabouleh recipe to go with that? Here’s one for you!