Falafel is a delicious deep-fried spiced chickpea patty that is served as a snack in most Middle Eastern countries. According to The Hummus Blog, the invention of falafel is contested as some believe it was invented by Egyptian Copts 1000 years ago, and others believe it was invented in ancient India back in 6th Century AD.
Traditionally, falafel was made with fava beans. However, the common falafel we see today is mostly made from chickpeas. There are several adaptations to making falafel, but most recipes have the 3 main ingredients: chickpeas, coriander and cumin.
After several attempts to make this, I have finally figured out how to make the most moist, airy and tasty falafel. First, there are a few secrets to making the perfect falafel:
- Never use canned chickpeas. Use the dry kind, then pressure cooker them until soft (or if you have the time, you can soak them overnight, but I can’t guarantee it will be soft enough)
- Use limited flour and baking soda otherwise your falafel will be pasty!
- Because of the addition of flour and baking soda, more flavour needs to be added so it’s not diluted. You need to make sure you add enough salt and spice to this mixture. Keep tasting the mixture before you cook it.
- I have tried both baking and deep frying falafel, and I can wholeheartedly say, deep frying is the way to go for this recipe. Baking does not taste good at all.
Here’s my exact recipe. Don’t forget to tag me or send me your recreations if you make this. I would love to share!
What you will need
- Dry packet of chickpeas
- Cumin seeds
- Coriander seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Lemon juice
- Chilli powder
- Black pepper
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Avocado oil
Some important tips before making this:
- Fresh herbs for this are essential for full flavour. Don’t compromise on that.
- You need to ensure that the mixture is not so wet before frying. If it happens to be, be sure to sprinkle a little more flour, then adjust the taste to make sure it is not diluted.
- A strong food processor will help blend all the ingredients together. A weak food processor will leave you with inconsistent texture.
- Your chickpeas need to be from the dry packet and not from the can, as the canned ones are too soft and wet, it will make your falafel look like hummus. Be sure to use a pressure cooker to soften the chickpeas before you blend it. Removing the husk does not make much of a difference.
- I have tried baking these, and it does not taste good. Deep frying is the way to go for these.
Easy Falafel Recipe
- 200 grams soft pressure cooked chickpeas from the dry packet, NOT from the can
- 70 grams fresh coriander
- 10 grams fresh parsley
- 10 grams fresh basil
- 10 grams fresh dill
- 100 grams onion chopped
- 20 grams garlic cloves
- 1 green chilli chopped
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp sesame seeds white
- 1/3 medium lemon juice split into two separate bowls
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp salt or more to taste
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp oregano dry flakes
- 1/4 tsp thyme dry flakes
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 2.5 tbsps all-purpose flour
- Unrefined avocado oil for deep frying
- If you have not done so already, pressure cook the dry chickpeas until they are soft and tender. Strain them and keep aside.
- In a frying pan, toast the sesame seeds, cumin seeds and coriander seeds over high heat for a few mins until brown and fragrant.
- Pour the seeds in a pestle and mortar to crush them into a powder. Keep this powdered mixture aside.
- In a high-powered food processor, place the drained chickpeas, chopped coriander, parsley, dill, basil, onion, garlic, chilli and half of the lemon juice. Blend until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl, and add the spices from the pestle and mortar, as well as the spices for seasoning (salt, oregano, thyme, chilli powder, paprika and pepper)
- You can mix this mixture with your hand to blend it thoroughly. Give it a taste to see if you need to add more salt or chilli powder here.
- Finally, sprinkle the flour, baking soda, and the remaining half of the lemon juice. Mix again until everything is fully combined.
- (optional) you can place this mixture in the fridge for up to an hour, or, you can use it straight away.
- In a cast iron kadai, or balti dish, add the unrefined avocado oil and heat it up. You can test if this oil is hot enough for frying by placing a little of the falafel mixture in it. If it starts bubbling and browing immediately, it’s ready.
- Deep fry only 2 or 3 round falafels at a time. I use the falafel scoop from my Amazon store, and it makes this step so much easier.
- Once the falafels are crispy brown, strain them with the straining utensil (also available in my Amazon store) and place it on a kitchen towel to dry and cool.
- Serve these falafels hot with a parsley salad or a beetroot salad made with fresh kale, red onion, oranges, pomegranate, lettuce and crumbled feta cheese – with a spritz of olive oil!
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