The Perfect Falafel

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I absolutely love a well-made crispy, crunchy Falafel with Hummus, or then as a part of a pita pocket sandwich. I guess it appeals to my Indian food sensibilities because of the spice in it. 🙂

Falafel, a deep-fried chickpea fritter, served with Hummus
Falafel with Hummus

Falafels are protein-rich chickpea fritters that are omnipresent all across the middle east. They are normally served with Hummus (I served it with Sumac Hummus this time) and Moutabel/Baba Ganoush. Falafels can also be transformed into a healthy, filling meal when they are served as a part of a Pita Pocket.

I had first posted this recipe in June 2013 and am now updating it with step-by-step instructions and better photos.

How to Make The Perfect Falafel

Ingredients

  1. Chickpeas, Garbanzo Beans, or Kabuli Chana – 1.5 Cups (150 gms~)
  2. Chopped Onion – 1 Medium (~25 gms)
  3. Garlic Cloves – 3 (6 gms)
  4. Roasted Cumin – 1/2 tsp ( ~ 1 gm)
  5. Coriander Seeds – 1/2 tbsp ( ~2 gms)
  6. Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
  7. Chopped Fresh Parsley or Coriander – 1/2 Cup (~ 40 gms)
  8. Wheat Flour or Chickpea Flour/Besan – 1-2 tbsp
  9. Salt to Taste
  10. Oil for Frying

Method to Make Falafel

  1. Soak the chickpeas with 3 cups of water for at least 8 hours.
  2. Drain the water from the chickpeas.
  3. Grind the roasted cumin, coriander seeds, and garlic to a coarse powder. I do this separately because otherwise the cumin and coriander sometimes remain whole when ground with the chickpeas.

  4. Add the chickpeas, onion, coriander/parsley, chilli powder, and salt.
  5. Grind into a coarse paste with as little water as possible. If you use more water, the dough will not hold shape when we make Falafels.
    • Grind the mix for a few seconds.
    • Then mix well and grind again.
    • Repeat this process to get a coarse dough.
    • If you need to add water, add 1 tbsp at a time.
  6. Transfer the chickpea dough into a vessel and add 1 tbsp chickpea flour.
  7. Mix well. Take 1.5 tbsp dough and roll into a ball. Gently press into a disc. If the disc does not hold shape, add more chickpea flour to the dough and mix well.
  8. Shaping the Falafels
    1. Divide the dough into 16 to 20 equal portions.
    2. Roll each portion into a ball and then gently press to form a disc. I used a Falafel maker that I bought in Dubai.

    3. Repeat till you have shaped all the Falafels.
  9. Frying the Falafels
    1. In a wok or kadai, over low flame, heat the oil for 5 to 7 minutes till it is hot. To test the heat of the oil, drop a pea sized ball of Falafel dough into the oil. It should rise to the top, sizzle, and fry.
    2. Gently slide 3 to 4 Falafels into the oil and fry over low to medium heat till golden brown.
    3. Using a slotted spoon, remove the fried falafels and drain all oil.
  10. Serve hot Falafels with Hummus.
The Perfect Falafel: Crispy Chickpea Fritters from the Middle-East
The Perfect Falafel: Crispy Chickpea Fritters from the Middle-East

Tips

  • To get crisp and firm falafels:
    • The paste must be coarse and not too fine because then you get a “mushy” falafel.
    • Ensure that you drain the water completely from the chickpeas and let them dry for sometime. You could spread them on a kitchen towel to speed up the process.
  • You could add about 1 tbsp of lemon juice to the falafel mix for an extra zing.
  • You could substitute the chilli powder with 1/4 tsp of pepper powder.
Falafel, the protein-rich crispy chickpea fritters served with Sumac Hummus.

The Perfect Falafel

Falafels are deep-fried chickpea fritters made all-over the middle east. This protein-rich snack is served by itself with Hummus and Moutabel/Baba Ganoush, or then used in a filling Pita Pocket. Either way, it is a treat I love.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Soaking Time 6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 50 mins
Course Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine Lebanese, Middle Eastern
Servings 4 People

Equipment

  • Wok or Kadhai
  • Mixer-Grinder, Food Processor
  • Slotted Spoon
  • Falafel Maker (Optional)

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 Cups Chickpeas, Garbanzo Beans, or Kabuli Chana (~150 gms)
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Onion (~25 gms)
  • 3 Garlic Cloves (6 gms)
  • 1/2 tsp Roasted Cumin Powder (~1 gm)
  • 1/2 tbsp Coriander Powder (~2 gms)
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley or Coriander (~40 gms)
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1-2 tbsp Chickpea Flour (Besan) or Wheat Flour (See Notes)
  • Salt to Taste
  • Oil for Frying (~ 300 ml)

Instructions
 

Getting the Chickpeas Ready

  • Soak the chickpeas with 3 cups of water for at least 8 hours.
  • Drain all the water from the chickpeas.

Making the Falafel Dough (See Notes)

  • Grind the soaked and drained chickpeas, chopped onion, chopped coriander/parsley, coriander powder, cumin powder garlic, chilli powder, and salt into a coarse paste with as little water as possible. If you use too much water, the dough will not hold shape when we make Falafels.
  • Transfer the chickpea dough into a vessel and add 1 tbsp chickpea flour.
  • Mix well. Take 1.5 tbsp dough and roll into a ball. Gently press into a disc. If the disc does not hold shape, add more chickpea flour to the dough and mix well.

Making the Falafels

  • Divide the dough into 16 to 20 equal portions.
  • Roll each portion into a ball and then gently press to form a disc. I used a Falafel maker that I bought in Dubai.
  • Repeat till you have shaped all the Falafels.
  • In a wok or kadai, over low flame, heat the oil for 5 to 7 minutes till it is hot. To test the heat of the oil, drop a pea sized ball of Falafel dough into the oil. It should rise to the top, sizzle, and fry
  • Gently slide 3 to 4 Falafels into the oil and fry over low to medium heat till golden brown.
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove the fried falafels and drain all oil.
  • Serve warm Falafels with Hummus.

Notes

When making the Falafel dough:
  • Grind the mix for a few seconds.
  • Mix well and grind again.
  • Repeat this process to get a coarse dough.
  • If you need to add water, add 1 tbsp at a time.
 
Keyword Falafel, Vegan, Vegetarian

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