Falafel

12 Aug

I apologize for posting 2 recipes in a row…but I couldn’t resist. This might be my favorite thing that I’ve made ever, and Matt’s too. It’s really quick to throw together and I almost always have the ingredients in my pantry. You should seriously make these, I promise you’ll enjoy.

Traditionally falafel is deep-fried, but this recipe cooks them up in a pan on the stove. And they are so delicious. Really, I don’t think you can go wrong with all the wonderful flavors, unless you happen to burn a few (which I did). This recipe comes from The New Moosewood Cookbook by Molly Katzen. It’s a really great cookbook – and all vegetarian!

Falafel
yields: about 24 balls

  • 4 cups cooked chickpeas (OK to use canned; two 15-oz. cans will provide the right amount)
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup finely minced onion or 6 scallions, minced
  • 1/4 cup (packed)  minced parsley
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • A few dashes of cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • Oil for frying

Rinse the chickpeas, and drain them well.

Combine all ingredients except flour in a food processor or a medium-sized bowl and process — or mash — until you have a uniform batter.

Add flour, and stir until thoroughly combined. You can cook the falafel right away, or store the batter in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for several days.

Heat a heavy skillet and add about 3 Tbsp. oil. When it is hot enough to sizzle a bread crumb on contact, drop tablespoonfuls of batter into the pan, flattening each slightly, like a small thick pancake. Sauté for about 10 minutes on each side, until golden and crisp. Add small amounts of extra oil to the pan as needed throughout the cooking.

Place the cooked falafel on a plate lined with paper towels and, if necessary, keep warm in a 300-degree oven until serving time.

This recipe is super simple and not too time consuming. Basically you just put everything in a bowl and mash it all together to form a batter. If you have the luxury of owning a food processor, it’s probably even easier. I just use a potato masher and it gets the job done.  I used canned chickpeas and scallions for my onions (they’re my favorite) and I used about 1/8 cup-ish dried parsley because I didn’t have fresh. I’m not sure if I had the heat up too high, but cooking the falafel for 10 minutes on one side doesn’t seem rightv- they burn. I’d say 3-5 minutes is more accurate. These cook quickly. The cook time is probably more of a personal preference. I like them more mushy than crispy, Matt liked the crispier ones.

I came out with 18 falafel balls, with two rounds in the pan. The overall cook time was probably about 15-20 minutes. We warmed up some pita bread and filled them with falafel, tomatoes, red onions and cucumbers and topped it with a few dollops of  tzatziki sauce.

(Note burnt falafel…but Matt still ate it.)

It was a delicious and healthy dinner. We even had a few falafel balls left over that Matt ate for lunch the next day. I really want to have people over and cook this for them! This is one of the few things I’ve made that I’m confident is delicious. (I’m very critical of my cooking). Enjoy!

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