Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Entree: Falafel

We make falafel the entree and serve pita and hummus with it. We did not like falafel so much when we had it at a Greek restaurant, but homemade is delicious!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup dried chickpeas
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
2+ tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2+ tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1/2-1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon baking powder
4-6 tablespoons flour (half whole wheat and half all-purpose)
Soybean or vegetable oil for frying
Chopped tomato for garnish
Diced onion for garnish
Diced green bell pepper for garnish
Tahini sauce
Pita bread


Directions:
  1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained. (We prefer dried chickpeas.)
  2. Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.
  3. Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough bulgur or flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
  4. Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts, or use a falafel scoop, available in Middle-Eastern markets.
  5. Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Stuff half a pita with falafel balls, chopped tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and pickled turnips. Drizzle with tahini thinned with water.
NOTE: Egyptians omit the cilantro and substitute fava beans for the chickpeas.


Other Details:

  • Makes: about 20 balls 
  • Nutrition info is per ball 
  • The original recipe is from Epicurious, but we tweaked it a bit.
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