A quick and easy falafel recipe from scratch that is perfect for beginners. Made from dried chickpeas, not canned, these falafel have great flavor and texture.
Fal-awful is much more appropriate for what I had at a restaurant not too long ago. It can only be described as the worst falafel I have ever been served. It was greasy and burnt to a crisp. Against my better judgment, I tried a tiny bite and not so graciously spit it into my napkin.
When the waiter came to clear plates and saw the entire order still sitting there he said to me
“They were burnt, I know”
So, here is where I wanted to ask him: If you knew they were burnt, why in the world did you ever let them leave the kitchen?!
But I was his customer, not his boss. I was dumbfounded and could not think of a response that wouldn’t bring him to tears, so I said nothing… I just looked at him.
If you have ever worked in a restaurant, whether you were a server, hostess, line cook, or the head honcho: Would you ever bring something that looked like this to the table?
Hint: the correct answer is no.
(the photo makes them look MUCH more palatable than they actually were)
Ok, I’m done venting… That being said, I felt the need to make some to remove this taste memory from the index.
It had been quite some time since I had made falafel at home, so I was just a bit apprehensive that they might not turn out perfect. I was right, the first batch disintegrated in the oil. So, with a touch more flour and another few hours resting in the fridge, the second batch happily held together & fried up beautifully.
Whiz it all up…
Scoop it into little balls and let it rest in the fridge for 2 – 3 hours…
Fry until golden brown delicious… and there you have it! Falafel!
- 1 lb dried chickpeas
- 1/2 bunch Italian parsley, rough chop, stems discarded
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, rough chop, stems discarded
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 onion, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- zest of half a lemon + 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- pinch of cayenne, optional
- Cover chickpeas in cold water, with at least 2 inches of water above them. Soak overnight.
- Drain beans and rinse with cold water. Add all ingredients except the oil to food processor and pulse until incorporated but not fully pureed.
- If necessary, add a tablespoon or two of water to help ingredients come together but be careful not to make dough too wet because it will fall apart in the oil.
- Pinch off a little bit of the dough to make a small patty and fry it in a pan to taste for seasoning. If it needs more salt, pepper, cumin, etc... now is the time to add it.
- Scoop into balls and roll with your hands to form them, place them on a sheet pan and let them rest in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours.
- Heat a few inches of oil in a pot over medium high heat and carefully lower falafel into the oil.
- If it sinks to the bottom and doesn't "bubble", oil is not hot enough... remove them and wait a few minutes until oil is hotter.
- Fry a few at a time (do not overcrowd the pot) until golden brown.
- 4 - 5 minutes for falafel slightly smaller than a golf ball.
try substituting half of the dried chickpeas with dried fava beans