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Falafels

Adapted from The Foods of Israel Today, by Joan Nathan, Epicurious.
Falafels are a delicious Middle Eastern dish often served with fresh vegetables and pita bread as an appetizer or main meal. 
Prep Time3 hrs
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Appetizer, Lunch or Dinner
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: Falafels
Servings: 20 falafel balls
Author: Debbie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, (or canned chickpeas, drained)
  • ½ large large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 - 6 Tablespoons flour
  • Soybean or vegetable oil for frying
  • Chopped tomato for garnish
  • Diced onion for garnish
  • Diced green bell pepper for garnish
  • Diced cucumbers
  • Pickled turnips, optional (available in Middle Eastern markets)
  • Tahini, (ground sesame seeds, available at local markets and Middle Eastern markets)
  • Hummus
  • Pita bread

Instructions

  • *Place chickpeas in a large bowl and add cold water, enough to cover by 2 inches. Soak overnight. Drain. Alternatively, use canned drained and rinsed chickpeas.
  • Place the drained canned, (or uncooked) chickpeas and onions in a food processor.
  • Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not too much where they're pureed.
  • Sprinkle the baking powder and 4 Tablespoons of the flour into the food processor bowl and pulse. Add flour as needed, adding enough flour so that the dough can be formed into a small ball and no longer so wet or sticking to your hands.
  • Transfer mixture into a bowl and refrigerate, if you can, covered for several hours. Alternatively chill covered in freezer for 15 minutes.
  • Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of a walnut.
  • Heat 3 inches of oil to 375ยบ in a deep pot or a wok. Fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little more flour. When mixture consistency is ready, fry about 6 balls at a time for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
  • Transfer to paper towels to drain.
  • Serve as an appetizer with the garnishes. To make a meal: Stuff half a pita with falafel balls, chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, green pepper, and pickled turnips. Drizzle with tahini thinned with water and/or hummus.

Notes

*Only if using dried chickpeas. Otherwise, just drain canned chickpeas and continue.
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