Falafel Recipe (Middle Eastern Chickpea Balls)

What is Falafel? Based on wikipedia:

Falafel is a ball or patty made from ground chickpeas and/or fava beans. Falafel is usually served in a pita, which acts as a pocket, or wrapped in a flatbread known as lafa.


Generally accepted to have first been made in Egypt, falafel has become a dish eaten throughout the Middle East. Falafel is also often considered a national dish of Israel. The Copts of Egypt claim to have first made the dish as a replacement for meat during Lent. The hearty fritters are now found around the world as a replacement for meat and as a form of street food.


While falafel is not a specifically Jewish dish, it was eaten by Mizrahi Jews in their countries of origin. Later, it was adopted by early Jewish immigrants to Palestine.”

In Middle Eastern countries, falafel is also common to be made from fava beans.

As a omnivore who is married to a vegetarian, off course I have to know how to make vegetarian foods. The only thing that I can’t give up is my fish and seafood which is a reason why until now I’m still eating other meats.

I used to buy frozen packages of falafel which I found saltier, greasier and have greater amount of cumin. Both of us are not a big fan of cumin. Thou some Indonesian cooking include this fragrant, I still can’t handle the taste of it too much. I’d rather have lots of coriander and other herbs.

Falafel is a great filling for vegetarian sandwich. The fiber from chickpeas help people to stay full longer. Honestly, I never see people who are crazy about chickpeas beside my husband. One day, I made a Caribbean curry with chickpeas. He could eat with it for 5 days straight.

Falafel
– Middle Eastern Chickpea Balls –
source: many webs from internet

Ingredients:
400 grams (2 cups) dried chick peas
1 large size onion, quatered
2 garlic clove, crushed
2 teaspoons roasted coriander, ground
1 teaspoon ground roasted cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 big handful each flat parsley and cilantro (if you have small hands like mine, you will need 2)
salt and black pepper, to taste
oil for frying

Methods:
Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 5-cm (2-inches). Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained.

Combine the beans, garlic, onions, spices, parsley, and cilantro in a food processor and grind them until the size of large breadcrumbs.

Shape into balls. I used a small ice cream scoop, round it with the palm of my hand, pack it down and tap it out. On a baking tray with a layer of parchment paper, place the balls on.

Let the balls sit in the refrigerator to help dry it out. Heat a few inches of oil to 350°F and gently drop a few falafel balls in. Let fry until brown, about 5 minutes.

Cook’s Note: 

  • I recommend to use dried chickpeas instead of canned chickpeas. Canned chickpeas most likely will turn your falafel into mushy and soggy balls, so you will need something as a binder such as flour.
  • I always buy whole coriander seeds then roast them and grind.  Keep in an air tight jar.
  • Roasted ground cumin can be bought at Middle Eastearn grocers.

 

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About the Author

An Indonesian born who lives in Winnipeg, Canada for more than a decade and decided to move a bit west. Edmonton is now where she is based on. Indonesia Eats is a memoir of her homeland.