Falafel are traditionally made with either chickpeas or fava beans, or a combination of both. This recipe uses dried chickpeas, plenty of fresh herbs and warm, earthy spices like cumin and coriander. Then they're deep fried to perfection!
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- 2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked in cold water for 24 hours, rinsed and dried completely
- 1 onion, chopped into eighths
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- 1/ 2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
- 1 lemon, zested (1/2 teaspoon)
- 1 1/ 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons sesame seeds, optional
- Salt, to taste
- Vegetable oil, for frying
In a food processor, blitz the chickpeas until they’re broken into fine grains. Stop the food processor a few times to scrape the edges down. Make sure there are no large chunks. Empty the chickpeas into a large bowl.
Add the parsley, cilantro, onion, and garlic into the food processor and pulse until it becomes almost a paste but NOT watery. Add to the chickpeas and season with the cumin, coriander, cayenne, pepper, sesame seeds, lemon zest, and salt. Taste and adjust salt and seasoning levels to your preference. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes to an hour to help keep its shape.
Once ready to fry, add the baking soda into the mixture and mix well. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan to about 350°F. Wet your hands to prevent sticking and shape the falafel into golf sized balls and flatten them out slightly using your palms. You may use your pinky finger to poke a hole through the center of the falafel to ensure even cooking. (Optional: dip one side of the falafel balls in sesame seeds before frying).
Test one out by dropping it into the oil, it should bubble around the falafel immediately and hold together. If this doesn’t happen wait for the oil to heat more over a medium flame. Fry the falafels for about 4 minutes in batches — do not overcrowd the pot. (If using a shallow frying pan flip once halfway through.) It should be dark brown and very crispy on the outside with a soft inside!
Optional: Serve with a yogurt tahini sauce (yogurt, tahini, lemon, salt, garlic), tomatoes, chopped lettuce, thinly sliced lemon, mint, and Arabic pickles to make an unforgettable falafel sandwich.