Falafel

These delicious fried vegetarian balls are a classic middle eastern snack made from dried chickpeas or fava beans (or a mixture of both).  They’re traditionally served with hummus or toum, a garlic sauce.  Often they are put into a bread roll and served as a sandwich.  They are certainly best when they are fresh out of the fryer.

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Ingredients (Serves 8-10):

1 1/2 cups dry chickpeas
1/2 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. chile powder
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 tbsp. chickpea flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups sunflower or grape seed oil

Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with water by 2 inches.  Let soak at least 12 hours.  Drain into a colander and discard soaking water.  Place colander over a sink or bowl to drain as much water as possible.  Place chickpeas into the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse until coarsely chopped, and not smooth.  Add remaining ingredients (except oil), and pulse until mixture comes together like a course dough.  Place mixture into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least one hour.

In a deep wok or saucepan, pour the oil until it comes 3” up the sides of the pan.  Heat over medium high heat until temperature is 375 degrees.  Meanwhile,  form the chickpea mixture into balls the size of golf balls.  You may need to wet your hands so it isn’t too sticky.  Place falafel balls on a sheet tray until ready to fry.   Gently place the balls into the oil, careful not to crowd too much.  Cook for about four minutes, or until golden in color and cooked through. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels, sprinkle with salt, and serve.

MainsSavanna Givens