Falafel are crunchy chickpea nuggets from Lebanon that can be baked or fried.
Yield: 15-20 falafel
Time: 1½ hours (plus chickpea soaking*)
- food processor
- container with lid
- cookie sheet
- large frying pan
- 1 c dry chickpeas, soaked for at least 8 hours*
- 1 c parsley, cilantro, or basil, chopped
- ½ c onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ t salt
- 1 t coriander
- 1 t cumin
- ¼ t pepper
- dash cayenne or paprika
- ½ c chickpea flour
- ½ t baking powder
- several T olive oil
Drain the soaked, uncooked chickpeas, then place in food processor and pulse just until they form a loose paste.
Add everything up to the cayenne and pulse a few times until well mixed. Transfer to bowl and stir in chickpea flour and baking powder.
Squeeze a bit of the mixture with your fingers – if it sticks together, go on to the next step. But if it’s too wet, add more chickpea flour, a few T at a time, until it sticks.
Refrigerate for an hour, then decide whether you want to bake or fry the falafel or fry.
Baked falafel (my preferred method)
- Grease the cookie sheet and preheat the oven to 375.
- Oil your hands, then take about 2 T of batter and form it into a 1- to 2-inch ball. Flatten a bit and place on tray. Repeat with remaining batter, then drizzle generously with oil.
- Bake for 15 minutes, flip, and bake another 10 minutes, until golden brown on both sides.
- Serve hot.
- Form the batter into patties, place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate another 10-15 minutes.
- Heat oil in in the pan until it shimmers.
- Fry the falafel in a single, well-spaced layer over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes, until golden. Flip and fry the other side for another 3 minutes.
- Transfer to cookie sheet and bake at 350 for another 8 minutes.
* You’ll end up with 2 cups soaked, raw chickpeas. Note that you can’t use canned chickpeas for this recipe – they’re too wet and the falafel will fall apart. If you want to use canned, try this falafel recipe instead.
Adapted from the recipe for "Jig-Inducing Falafel Burgers" in The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook (read my review).