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Saturday, December 27, 2008


A middle eastern fast food snack. A puree of chickpeas with spices deep fried and served with lettuce tomato etc in pita bread. Minted cucumber salad and a yogurt sauce is also served with it as is hot sauce. Everything is put into the pita bread sauce is put over it with a few leaves of mint. Great stuff.
Here is a link in case anyone is interested in the origins of this food. I doubt there will be any interest in making if but if there is let me know and I will pass along a few tips.
Here is a recipe for this:
1 cup dried chickpeas or 16 oz. can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans.
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons flour
Oil for frying
Place dried chickpeas in a bowl, covering with cold water. Allow to soak overnight. Omit this step if using canned beans. Drain chickpeas, and place in pan with fresh water, and bring to a boil.Boil for 5 minutes, then let simmer on low for about an hour. Drain and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Combine chickpeas, garlic, onion, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper (to taste) in medium bowl. Add flour.Mash chickpeas, ensuring to mix ingredients together. You can also combine ingredients in a food processor. You want the result to be a thick paste. Form the mixture into small balls, about the size of a ping pong ball. Slightly flatten.Fry in 2 inches of oil at 350 degrees until golden brown (5-7 minutes).
Play around with the consistency and make sure your oil is hot. If it is not hot the falafels will fall apart. I also added a little white breadcrumbs to the mix to make it drier.
I didn't use a food processor but a potato masher instead. I found that it gave a better texture. That is a personal preference of course.
Also, use a deeper pan than I have used here because they bubble a lot as you can see. That could start a small grease fire as well as give you a fright.


Evelyn said...

I had this in Israel in the dim and distant past and it was fab. I suppose the burgers could be shallow fried as I don't have a deep fryer.

James Walsh said...

Yes Evelyn. These were fried in about one and a half inches of oil. the oil is a write off after use so it is best not to use too much. They are a little tricky to make. It took me two tries to get these. I will try to post a recipe later with a few tips.

Anonymous said...

yum, love falafel. i think i'll make some!! they could be eaten 'raw' too? i don't fry a lot but the ingredients could be included in a wrap of some sort with cucs and mint right? or would that just be gross??


James Walsh said...

They could be good and it is a good idea. I think I prefer the texture of the fried one. What I do think would be would be to wrap it in a tortilla with some avocado slices, bean sprouts, tomato and a cumin flavored mayonnaise or something along those lines. Matter of fact I may try that myself. I think it would be great with a bowl of soup. Thanks for the idea.