Monday, 29 July 2013

Falafel

Falafel

Ingredients:

1 Cup dried chickpeas, soaked in water over night, or about 30 hours
1 White onion, quartered (About 1 cup)
1 Tablespoon cilantro leaves
2 Tablespoons parsley leaves
4 Cloves garlic
1 Teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon baking powder
Between 4 Tablespoons and 1/2 Cup flour, Because flour is a tricky devil sometimes and it was super humid on the day I made these

Instructions:

Drain the chickpeas from their water bath in a strainer and gently pat with paper towels to dry them a bit.

In the large bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, add the chickpeas, onion, cilantro, Parsley, garlic, chili pepper flakes, and salt. Pulse repeatedly until a semi smooth consistency is reached. It should all look pretty even, with an even color.

Scrape the batter out of the food processor into a large bowl. Sprinkle the flour over the top of the batter, starting with only 4 tablespoons. Mix using a wooden spoon until thoroughly mixed. Touch the dough gently, and if it still feels really sticky add another two tablespoons of flour and repeat process until mixture isn't really sticking to your hands anymore.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for about 2-3 hours in the fridge.

Heat cooking oil to about 375C or medium heat, the oil should be deep enough to emerse the balls. When the oil is ready to go, remove the dough from the fridge and begin to roll balls that are about the size of a walnut.

Place prepared balls on parchment paper. Fry one of the balls to start, I gave mine about 4 minutes of cooking time, then I pushed them off the bottom of the pan, and let them cook another 2-3 minutes, until they floated to the top and had a nice brown crunchy shell. If the first ball cooks well, and as described and doesn't fall apart, go ahead and cook as many as will fit in the pan without touching, following the same process.

If the first test ball fell apart, add another 2 tablespoons of flour, and chill the dough for another 30 minutes. Try again.

Remove the cooked falafel from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a tray lined with paper towels to drain. Serve warm in a pita, roti or wrap, with tahini sauce, tomoatoes, peppers, cucumber, lettuce, onion, hummus, etc.

Enjoy!!

Notes:

Mashed and seasoned chickpea meatless meatballs! I only had these once before I made them the first time, and it was at 3am after my birthday party had ended. I faintly remember very much enjoying it and thinking I could totally make it myself.

So a few days later I set out to make it myself. With mixed success based on what I read. Plus it is not a food I am overly familiar with, I used dried chickpeas and soaked them for about 30 hours. They felt a lot like peanuts in texture and split like a peanut when squeezed after being soaked. They ended up having ideal consistency once I finished the recipe. I used the dried chickpeas because there can be and often is a lot of added salt in the canned chickpeas and since I was planning to fry the falafel I thought I ought to limit the salt. Just to try and balance it all out a bit.

I also really suggest using a large bowl food processor for this recipe. It just makes it so easy, and the texture of the finished falafel is so smooth and fries with such a nice crisp shell.

This recipe is going to only be exactly how I made them, since this is the only way I know how at the moment. I plan to perhaps try to bake the falafel another time just to see if it can be done. Since that would make these pretty much the healthiest thing in my recipe box. More cook days are needed but I need to save at least the recipe before I lose it.

PS, May 2014 I recently have started to sincerely eat healthier and change out some meat in my diet for alternative protein sources. . . only sometimes though, still a blue-rare grilled steak kind of girl at heart. Anyways I tried a recipe to make falafel burgers to stuff inside a pita, but the recipe I was looking at said to use a can of chickpeas, undrained. Which felt wrong to me but who am I to argue? I am no real chef.

Word to the wise, you must absolutely drain the chickpeas when trying to make falafel of any variety. I created mushy paste that never got crispy. Gross.

So always drain and rinse the chickpeas. No extra liquid. Trust me. I will listen to my own advice as well next time because other than the chickpea burgers not turning out well the pita snacks were pretty good. So I will give them another go but using this recipe instead. Though maybe with less parsley and herbs as husband to be was not happy with how green these ones were.  

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