October 22, 2010

Falafel: A Tutorial

Hey you, in the international foods aisle holding the box of falafel mix - yes, you. Put it down! Walk away and go to the bulk bins to pick up some dried chickpeas. Go! After picking up a little of this and some of that, you'll be on your way to creating something that will snub its garlicky nose up at any boxed mix. Plus, I promise it's easy. Just follow these steps and you'll have this on your plate in no time (well, it does take time, but it's worth it).

Baked falafel
- 1 cup dried chickpeas
- 1/2 medium onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp salt
- Cracked pepper, to taste


Step one:
Soak chickpeas overnight in a large bowl with enough water to cover them by at least a few inches.

Step two:
Wake up, rinse and drain your chickpeas and throw them into a large pot with a lot of water. Don't bother measuring, just dump enough water to cover everything. Bring to a boil and simmer for an hour, or until chickpeas are tender.

Step three:

Put all the ingredients, with the exception of the flour and sesame seeds, in the food processor. Process until smooth. Put the mix back into a large bowl and add the flour and sesame seeds. Get your hands in it and mix until just combined. Don't overmix!

Step four:
Let the mix chill in the fridge for at least an hour. After the hour is up, get to making your falafel. Use a 1/4 cup scoop to form uniform balls. I would suggest spraying your scoop with a touch of non-stick spray so you're not beating your palm with it trying to get the falafel patties out. But, whatever works for you is fine.

Step five:
 Preheat your oven to 375 and put the falafel on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until they're golden on both sides. You could form these and refrigerate until you're ready to bake; I made them in the afternoon and baked them after class/the gym.

Step six:
FEAST. Serve on pita with the usual accompaniments, or with a side salad. I made a salad with cucumber/roma tomato/red onion/kalamata olives/green bell pepper/parsley and tossed with red wine vinegar, olive oil, S&P and oregano. It was perfection.

Makes 10 falafel

See? It takes some preparation, but I promise you that these taste far better and fresher than a boxed mix and are indeed fun to make. If you're REALLY scrambling for time you can use canned chickpeas, but the texture will change. I can't claim that these are truly "authentic" because they're not fried, but I don't really like fried food, so these are a great alternative.

You have no idea how many times I had to stop myself from calling them "falawesome".

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  1. LOL - I am totally guilty of picking up the falafel mix ;-)

  2. This is a great step by step tutorial, thanks! Vegan falafel's have been on my radar for a while now..yum yum! I wonder if chick pea or quinoa flour would be a good substitute? (I rarely have white flour in my kitchen)

  3. @Jess

    Neither do I! I always use sprouted spelt. :D Chickpea flour should work well, but you may have to mess with the ratios to get the right texture.