Falafel

Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty made of chickpeas, fava beans, parsley, cilantro, garlic and onions. The combination of these ingredients, along with salt, pepper and cumin, result in an irresistible fritter.

 

In the Middle East, falafel is considered to be street food, something you enjoy on the go and it's usually very cheap. Falafel is enjoyed for breakfast with hummus on the side, or in sandwich form. The best feeling is going to buy a falafel sandwich in the streets of Amman and the person making your sandwich hands you a fresh, hot falafel to enjoy while you wait for your sandwich. Living in the United States, I don't get to enjoy falafel as often as I like. Even though there are so many restaurants that sell falafel, not all of them can perfect the taste. That's why I love to make it at home.

With only a few ingredients, you can make the freshest and most delicious falafel, ever! I mean, what's better than homemade food? 

While, yes, I agree that this recipe is time consuming to prep, it's really worth it in the end. I make this recipe and double, or even triple the quantities, and freeze in individual bags. That way, I just grab the falafel whenever I need it and breakfast, or dinner, is ready!

I usually make falafel for breakfast on the weekend, or for a quick weeknight dinner. This recipe is perfect for those crazy nights where you don't know what to cook. That's when the stash of frozen falafel mix in your freezer comes to the rescue!

Seriously though, isn't the color just so vibrant? Doesn't it make you forget the boxed falafel mix? 

When I make falafel, I always have a variety of toppings to go with it. Hot pita bread, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers, as well as pickled turnips, pickles and tahini sauce or hummus. Everyone gets to make their own sandwiches! Who doesn't love an easy and versatile meal? 

Falafel

Servings: 8 (about 55-56 pieces) 

Prep Time: 1 hour (10 hours for soaking chickpeas and fava beans) 

Cook Time: 20 minutes 

Ingredients: 

2 cups dry chickpeas 

1 cup dry split fava beans 

2 bunches curly parsley 

1 bunch cilantro 

1 medium white onion, quartered 

6 cloves garlic 

1 tablespoon salt 

3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 

1 tsp ground cumin 

10-11 teaspoons baking powder 

Toppings:

Sliced tomatoes 

Sliced cucumbers 

Sliced bell peppers 

Pickled turnips 

Pickled cucumbers 

Tahini Sauce 

Directions: 

1) In a large bowl, soak chickpeas and fava beans overnight, for a minimum of 10 hours. Drain. 

2) In your food processor, combine chickpeas, fava beans, parsley, cilantro, onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin. Pulse until all ingredients are ground up. You may need to do this in batches if your food processor is not large enough. 

3) Add the baking powder to your falafel mix and let sit for 15-20 minutes. 

4) In a large skillet or frying pan, add cooking oil - about 1/2 to 1 inch of oil. Heat on medium-high heat to 350*F. 

5) When your oil is hot enough, drop about 1" falafel patties or balls into the heat and cook on both sides until golden brown and crispy.

Notes: 

1) This recipe makes enough for 8 people. I usually freeze the leftover falafel mix in freezer bags. I freeze 1.5-2 cups of mix per bag. For every cup of falafel mix, I use 1.5 teaspoons baking powder. 

2) You can use a falafel scoop to shape falafel. If you don't have one, you can use a 1" ice cream scoop or a regular tablespoon.