Falafel is a popular Middle Eastern food believed to have originated in Egypt, where it was known as ‘ta’miyah’ . Made with fava beans, garlic, and onion, it is the ultimate street food of the Middle East and has been around for centuries. The word Falafel comes from the Arabic word ‘filfil,’ meaning pepper. This is because the original recipe for Falafel contained a lot of spicy pepper. The crispy, golden-brown balls made from ground chickpeas, herbs, and spices are a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine and are loved worldwide. Over time, the recipe for Falafel has evolved and spread throughout the Middle East, with variations including the use of chickpeas, lentils, herbs, and spices. In the present day, Falafel is a highly popular vegetarian and vegan option, and it can be found in restaurants and food trucks worldwide. It is served in pita bread with hummus, tahini, pickles, and salad, making for a flavorful and nutritious meal. Whether you are a vegan, vegetarian, or a meat-eater, Falafel is a must-try food that will surely satisfy your taste buds. Contrary to what you might think, this is a pretty straightforward recipe @sarchakra
PREP TIME:20 mins plus for soaking
COOK TIME: 20 mins
YIELDS: Makes 30
- Chick peas 3 cups, soaked overnight with a little baking soda
- Onion 1, chopped
- Garlic 3-4 cloves, chopped
- Parsley 1 cup, chopped
- Coriander leaf ½ cup, chopped
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper 3 tsp
- Smoked paprika 3 tsp
- Coriander powder 2 tbsp
- Roasted cumin powder 1 tbsp
- Baking powder 2 tsp
- Flour 2 tbsp
- Oil for frying
- In a food processor add the drained and rinsed chick peas, onion, garlic, coriander leaf, parsley, salt, black pepper, toasted cumin powder, coriander powder and smoked paprika. Blitz till the mixture comes together and you can take portions of it and bind it.
- Cover the mixture with a cling film and keep in the fridge for an hour.
- Take portions out of the mixture and roll into balls. Repeat for the entire mixture. Keep them in a tray or tub.
- Freeze the falafel for 30 mins.
- Heat oil. Gently lay the falafel into the hot oil. Fry till golden on all sides. Drain on kitchen towels.
- Serve Falafel with a Sweet Potato Salad and pillowy Homemade Pita Bread and Tahini Dressing for an ultimate drool worthy meal.
This dish needs a little prep the night before. Simply rinse and soak the chick peas in water completely submerged overnight. There is no need to put it in the fridge. The kitchen counter is good enough.
The flour is optional but I find it easier to bind the felafel with it. You can omit it if you prefer.
Freezing the falafel is again I find a neat trick. It keeps the shape of the felafel perfectly and fries so well.
Make sure the oil is not too hot otherwise the felafel will break.
Do not crowd the pan. Fry in batches.
There are numerous variations of Falafel, including the use of sweet potato or cauliflower as a replacement for the chickpeas.
Add different herbs and spices to create your unique and delicious version of Falafel.
Soaking your chickpeas overnight will make them easier to blend as well as improve the texture of your falafel.
Fresh herbs like parsley and cilantro, garlic, and onions add amazing flavor to your falafel mix.
Do not over blend the chickpeas. Pulse the chickpeas and other ingredients. You want to retain some texture and make sure the mixture does not become too pasty.
When frying, the oil should be around 375°F. If the oil is too hot or cold, the falafel will cook unevenly.
A neutral oil like canola or vegetable oil is best for frying. Do not use olive oil, which can burn at high temperatures.
Once the falafel are fried, let them sit for a few minutes so it firms up and cools down slightly. This will help them maintain their shape and prevent them from falling apart.
Falafel is traditionally served with tahini sauce, which is made from sesame paste, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Other sauces like tzatziki, harissa, or hummus also work so well with falafel.
Falafel is a good vegetarian source of protein as it is made from chickpeas. A single serving of falafel can provide around 7-10 g of protein.
Falafel contain a good amount of dietary fiber, and can help regulate digestion and prevent constipation.
Falafel contains various essential vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for our body, including iron, magnesium, and vitamin C.
To make a healthier version of falafel, you can try:
Baking instead of frying: Frying falafel can lead to a high calorie and oil content. Instead, bake them in the oven for a healthier option. It is then counted as a low-calorie food. One serving can provide around 150- 200 calories.
Use a healthier oil like avocado oil to fry the Felafel instead of vegetable oil.
Add vegetables to your falafel mixture to increase the fiber, vitamins, and minerals in your meal. Try adding spinach or kale to your falafel mixture.
To serve, use whole-grain pita instead of using regular pita bread to increase the fiber content and improve the nutritional value of your meal.
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Beautiful! One of my favorites, and baked is the way to go!.
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Sure, baking this works great too 🙂
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