If there is one food Chef Palak doesn’t get sick of, it’s FALAFEL! For those that haven’t had it before, it’s a Middle Eastern dish made from chickpeas or fava beans, spices and herbs. There are several variations of this dish but most of the recipes use these key ingredients in varying portions:
Chickpeas: Only use the dry chickpeas and soak them over night and drain them well. The canned chickpeas will be too soft and make the falafel mixture wet and break apart when frying.
Onion: We generally use yellow onion, they are slightly sweet with a little bit of acidity to add flavor to the falafels.
Garlic Cloves: Fresh garlic cloves add a little more spice and the strong flavor will mellow once the falafels are fried.
Cilantro & Parsley: These fresh herbs add a ton of flavor to the falafel and also give it the nice green color.
Dried Red Pepper Flakes: The peppers add a little spice but don’t overpower the flavor. We like using dried red pepper flakes instead of fresh serranos to avoid adding more wet ingredients to the mixture. You can adjust the amount you use based on your spice preference but we strongly suggest that you add this to the mixture.
Cumin Powder: This spice adds a distinct earthy, nutty and spicy taste to the falafels.
All Purpose Flour: This binds the mixture together and helps it keep shape when frying. If your mixture feels too wet or breaks apart when frying gradually add more flour to the mixture until it holds. You can also use chickpea flour to make it gluten free.
Baking Powder: This is the key to achieving a soft and fluffy interior.
All it takes is these simple ingredients to create our favorite falafels! We recommend eating the falafel fresh, they will be very crispy on the outside and warm and soft on the inside. Cooked falafel as it sits will become soft on the outside and denser on the inside.
Serving Size: Makes 6 servings, yields about 30 falafel balls
- 2 cups dried chickpeas
- 1 large onion peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 cup fresh parsley
- 9 garlic cloves peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 tsp cumin powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 9 tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 tsp dried red pepper flakes (to taste, use less if you like it milder)
- oil for frying
- Soak the dried chickpeas in water overnight, at least 8-12hours. Make sure to cover the chickpeas with water by 3 inches, they will triple in size as they soak.
- Drain the rinse the chickpeas and leave them in the colander to dry throughly.
- In a food processor add onion, cilantro, parsley, garlic, cumin powder, baking powder and all purpose flour and pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped.
- Add in the rinsed and dried chickpeas and pulse until the chickpeas are well combined, the mixture will still look coarse.
- Use your hands or an ice cream scoop to form the falafel into tight balls. If you find the mixture too wet you can add another tablespoon of all flour.
- Heat about 3 inches of frying oil to 375F. If you don’t have a way to measure the temperature, drop a small piece of the falafel mixture into the oil and see if it bubbles and floats to the top.
- Cook the falafel about 6-8 at a time for a few minutes until they are golden brown. Remove them to a paper towel lined plate.
- Serve immediately, they are best warm and crispy!