Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Falafel


Falafel plate
On some days I miss the food I grew up with in the middle east. Falafels are one of them.
The first time I tried making these, it was a total disaster. I was inexperienced and decided to cook the chickpeas first before making the ground mixture and frying them. The result: As soon as the falafel hits oil, it just kept disentegrating into the oil and whatever is left is not cooked. God what a nightmare. Almost a year later, I tried this again by referring another blog. It was successful, but a bit dry. But definitely tasty. The vegetable and sauces I used to wrap them in my own grilled Khubz helped to cut down the dryness. I've been finding it impossible to find flat leaf parsley in Bangalore so on my trip back from Riyadh, I got a bunch of parsley which costs less than a Saudi Riyal! Its magical flavour is what gives falafels and many other middle eastern foods a unique taste.
Credit: Homemade-recipes blog

Ingredients:

For Falafels:
500 gms dried chick peas (kabuli chana)
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh coriander, chopped (cilantro)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground paprika
1 teaspoon ground red chili pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons plain flour or gluten-free flour
1 teaspoon ground dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3 teaspoons baking powder
Note: When I made the mix using the above ingredients, I did find that it was still a bit difficult to make firm balls, so I added about 2 tbsp of breadcrumbs into the mix. Also I did not use paprika, used extra red chilli powder instead. I did not use the bicarbonate of soda because I did not have it with me. Will use next time to see if it has a difference. I also used only 2 tsp of baking powder. Maybe it will be more airy and lighter (less dense).

For Deep Frying
Vegetable oil

Method:

  • Soak chickpeas in water for 24 hours, then drain well.
  • Mix together the chick peas, chopped parsley, coriander/cilantro, crushed garlic and chopped onions 
  • Grind in a food processor.
  • Add all remaining falafel ingredients and process again.
  • Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  • Knead the falafel mix.
  • Form spoonfuls of the falafel mixture into balls and flatten slightly. Flattening ensures the insides are cooked.

Falafel balls for frying
  • Heat oil in deep pan over high heat, then fry till browned and cooked through.

Frying Falafel 2 Frying Falafel

Falafel closeup 

Serve with Garlic Sauce or Garlic Tahini Sauce or Hummus.

Falafel and garlic tahini sauce


Or make a Falafel Sandwich
Falafel Sandwich 
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