The best falafels you would make at home
Falafel is a fritter made predominantly with chickpeas also known as garbanzo beans or kabuli chana and sometimes fava beans or peas. It is a very common middle eastern food, gaining more popularity as it is suitable for all food classes.
It can be had by itself, with some dips like hummus, garlic yogurt dip, or toum. When wrapped in pita bread with some spread and fresh salad vegetables or pickled vegetables it becomes a complete wholesome meal. It also goes well with tomato ketchup, which is how we prefer to have it.
Falafel is a lot more similar to the South Indian Lentil fritters (Paruppu vadai in local parlance) made with Bengal gram or yellow lentils, which are nothing but hulled and split Indian black chickpeas.
These are also soaked, and ground with spices, mixed with onions and herbs. A bit of chickpea flour or rice flour is added for binding and then deep-fried.
But there is a world of difference in taste between the Indian fritters and their middle eastern counterpart, mainly coz of the varying spices and herbs added. Each is unique in its own way.
Paruppu vadai is a very flavourful South Indian Street food, which will get you hooked whenever you pass by a vendor.
Falafel has a trademark shape of flat at the bottom and domed at the top, which is on account of using the falafel press. The press is not an absolute necessity to make it, but using it will give you uniform-sized falafels.
Alternatively, you can use an ice cream scoop, or a small round ladle to keep the same size for all the falafels which will also help in even browning. People in Qatar can get the falafel press at Ramez.
Over to the recipe.
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 1 medium-sized big onion
- a handful parsley
- 2 small cloves of garlic grated
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp pepper powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper/red chilly powder
- 1-2 tbsp chickpea flour/besan
- 2 tsps olive oil
- a pinch of allspice powder/ cardamom powder/fennel powder/cinnamon powder.
- few drops lemon juice
- salt to taste
- Wash and soak the chickpeas in water for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
- Once the chickpeas increase in volume, drain the water and blend all the ingredients in a food processor, till it gathers together and can be shaped into roundels. Add little or no water.
- Taste the mixture and adjust spices as per need.
- Refrigerate for atleast half an hour.
- Shape into patties using your hands or use the falafel press and deep fry in medium hot oil till it gets cooked and becomes brown in color.
- The Air-fryer can also be used to fry the falafels at 180°C for 8 - 10 mts. Baste them halfway with oil.
- Either way, it tastes good, but the air-fried ones are a bit on the drier side. Not a big price to pay for your health though 🙂
- It is so flavourful and addictive that you will not feel satisfied with a few.
- It took about 5 minutes for me to bring it to the required consistency. You can also use a mixer or blender if you do not have a food processor, but use the whipping mode and blend scraping down the sides every now and then. Try as much as possible not to add water.
- The final mixture after grinding should be coarse but hold together to a shape. Too much water and the falafel will break apart when frying.
- Start adding a tablespoon of flour and increase as per need. Adding besan or chickpea flour enhances the flavor of the falafels. But you can use other flours normally used for binding like corn flour, rice flour, APF, etc.
- If it still disintegrates while frying, try to bake or cook it on the stovetop as you would for cutlets.
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