Falafel are a huge favorite of mine and I absolutely adore how easy they are to make! Whip these up for a casual lunch or dinner with a lovely minty salad, in a pita pocket with fresh veggies or as an appetizer for your next gathering. They're crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside and will you look at that gorgeous color? I served them with a Tahini Lemon and a Coconut Harissa Dipping Sauce and let me tell you, they did not last long!
The only thing that’s a teeny bit annoying is having to soak the dried chickpeas in water for 12 hours before you use them. Apparently substituting canned chickpeas is a complete no-no and will absolutely ruin your falafel. I haven’t dared try it. Can anyone share their experience? Hit me up! Here is our tried and true recipe.
Makes 22-25 falafel
1 1/4 cup (250 g) dried chickpeas
3 cloves garlic
1 cup (40 g) chopped flat leaf parsley
1 cup (40 g) chopped cilantro
1 tsp crushed red pepper
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tbsp salt
freshly ground pepper
peanut or vegetable oil for deep frying
Tahini Lemon Sauce
1/2 cup (125 g) tahini
1/2 cup warm water
juice of one lemon
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
freshly ground pepper
toasted sesame seeds as garnish (optional)
Coconut Harissa Sauce
1/2 cup coconut yoghurt
1 tbsp harissa
chopped cilantro as garnish (optional)
Put the chickpeas in a large bowl, covering them with so much cold water so that you have at least an extra two inches over the chickpeas. Leave them to soak for 12 hours.
Drain the chickpeas. Rinse them under running cold water and drain again.
Put all the falafel ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until well blended, but not so long that it is too smooth. It should be a homogenous mass, but not puree. Little chunks are fine, I actually prefer it that way! If you don’t have a food processor, you can also use an immersion blender. Then it’s easier to blend bit by bit. If the mix seems very dry, you can add a splash of water.
Take a tablespoon of the falafel mix at a time and roll between your hands to form falafel balls that are about the size of walnuts.
Heat about 3 inches of oil in a deep pot or skillet on medium-high heat to 375 F (190 C). The oil should be hot but never smoke. If you don’t have a thermometer, here’s a handy tip: when you stick the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil and little bubbles start to form around the handle, then your oil is hot enough. Please be extremely careful around hot oil!
With a slotted spoon, carefully put five or six falafel into the oil at a time (you don’t want to crowd them!) and cook about 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
Place the falafel on paper towels to soak up excess oil.
In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients for the Tahini Lemon Sauce together until well blended. Do the same for the Coconut Harissa Sauce.
Serve with one or both of the dipping sauces, with a salad or in a pita pocket with tomatoes, slices of red onion and lettuce.