Today’s recipe: Falafel

Falafel is a very common dish eaten throughout the Middle East. It is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpea (a legume). It is usually served in a pita bread (like a sandwich) topped with salads, pickled vegetables and sauces.

Chickpeas are packed with protein and therefore are a great meat replacement.

Falafel freeze very well (up to 2 months) so I usually make a batch and store whatever is left in the freezer.

Ingredients for the falafels (yields about 15 patties)

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Half onion
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Chili powder to taste (I put 1 teaspoon)
  • Half cup chopped parsley or cilantro leaves (dried leaves is fine too)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon lemon/lime juice
  • Oil for frying

Ingredients for the side salad

  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1 lime
  • Coriander or mint or parsley, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 4 tablespoon of plain yogurt

Preparation – 40min (plus soaking overnight)

  1. Put beans in a large bowl and cover generously with water for 12-24hours; they will triple in volume so make sure they keep submerged.
  2. Drain the beans and transfer to a food processor with all the remaining ingredients; pulse until almost pureed (but not quite, you’ll still want a bit of texture).
  3. Add salt, pepper, chili powder and lemon juice to taste.
  4. Scoop heaping tablespoons of batter and shape into balls or patties (I prefer flat patty shape because frying wont require as much oil).
  5. The falafel can now be cooked directly or frozen. If you are using frozen falafels, just make sure they are completely thawed before cooking.
  6. Fry the falafel in batches, making sure they don’t stick to each other (avoid overcrowding the pan) until nicely browned on all sides (few minutes)
  7. Serve hot or at room temperature with a simple salad (I like a mix of diced tomato/cucumber with olive oil and squeeze of lime) and yogurt sauce (plain yogurt with a squeeze of lime juice and chopped coriander or mint)

If you don’t like frying, these falafels can also be oven-baked. They wont come out as crisp but will taste nice and less greasy. Just pop them in the oven for about 20min at 180 degrees Celsius.

To read the Indonesian translation, click here.

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