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Authentic Falafel Recipe (Chickpeas Patties), From Scratch

2018-01-28
  • Servings: 1 dozen or more

Falafel is one of the popular street foods of Lebanon. When bought as a street food, it is served as a sandwich, wrapped in a Lebanese flat bread together with some greens, tomatoes, pickled turnip and green chili, all topped with a tangy tarator (tahini sauce).

Otherwise, you can buy it on it’s own or make it at home and serve it as a mezze accompanied by the ingredients mentioned above. You can substitute the tarator sauce with hommos.

Falafels are made by using either soaked dry chickpeas or dry fava beans, or a combination of both. DON’T COOK the peas/beans and DON’T USE the canned ones. It will not work nor have the right texture: too moist, too tender, too mushy!

In Lebanon they’re mainly done with chickpeas.

Falafels are also a vegetarian/vegan food par excellence.

Ingredients

  • 250 g of dry chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 3 big cloves of garlic, cut roughly in smaller pieces
  • 4 spring onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small handful of chopped coriander
  • 1 small handful of chopped parsley
  • 1 small handful of chopped mint leaves
  • 1 /2 green chili, deseeded (optional)
  • 1 heaped tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tsp of coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp of white pepper & 1/2 tsp of turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp of salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 or 3 tbsp of gram or white flour
  • Oil for frying

Method

Step 1

After having soaked the chickpeas overnight, rinse and dry them well (use the colander then kitchen towel). Place the chickpeas in the food processor and whirl until it looks like wet breadcrumbs. Don't over process. Remove and put aside in a bowl.

Step 2

Now put all the other ingredients (herbs, spices...), except the bicarbonate of soda, in the processor and pulse until it becomes almost a paste. Remove, add to the chickpeas, mix well, cover and put in the fridge for at least 2 hours (the longer, the better).

Step 3

Before frying, add the bicarbonate of soda to the mix then prepare to deep fry the falafels by heating the oil until it is quite hot. Drop the falafel mix into the oil by using a special falafel scoop (see photo) or by using an ice cream scoop, or 2 spoons. Fry until the falafels become golden brown then remove them and place them on a kitchen paper to remove excess oil.

Step 4

Serve hot with an accompaniment of tahini sauce (or hommos), tomatoes, fresh mint, pickles and other greens of your choice.

Step 5

Here is the recipe for TARATOR, the tahini sauce: For approximately 5 tbsp of tahini, add the jus of a half lemon, 1 tsp of garlic mashed with some salt then a little bit of water. Add the water gradually until you obtain a creamy looking sauce. Taste and adjust the lemon, salt and garlic to your taste. NB: shake well the tahini container before using.

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