Falafel is a fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas/garbanzo beans. The Egyptians variety uses fava beans while chickpeas are commonly used in other Middles Eastern countries. Falafel is usually served in a pita which acts as a pocket or wrapped in flat bread known as lafa. It is topped with salads, pickle vegetables and hot sauce, and drizzle with tahini based sauce. Falafel balls may also be eaten alone as snacks. It has great source of protein, complex carbohydrates and fiber. It is hearty enough to replace hamburger patties and meatballs in vegetarian dishes. Besides frying you can also baked it but by doing so it will alter the texture and flavor of the falafel. We just eat this with some spicy chili sauce as I am too lazy to make some tahini dipping sauce.
6 oz dried chickpeas
1 small onion, roughly chopped
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
4 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp dried hot pepper flakes
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp baking powder
Salt to taste
5-6 tbsp of flour
1. Wash and soak chickpeas overnight. Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.
2. Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough flour so that the dough will forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered for an hour.
4. Form the chickpea mixture into small. Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees F in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little bit more flour.
5. Then fry the balls for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with a bit of salt on the balls and serve warm or at room temperature with some chili sauce.
Note: You can serve the falafel with Pita bread. Just stuff half a pita with falafel balls, add some chopped tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and pickled turnips. Drizzle with some tahini sauce.