The Real Deal Falafels
If you have some extra fresh herbs laying around the house or in your garden that you're looking to use up, this is the perfect recipe! Real, authentic falafels call for a ton of cilantro, parsley, and dill giving them a vibrant green color.
These little cuties are:
Packed with flavor from the delicious herb-spice combo
Loaded with nutrients, especially fiber and protein from the chickpeas
Enjoy falafels drizzled with tzatziki or tahini along with other Mediterranean mezze (appetizers/small dishes), in a wrap, or on a salad.
Cook's Tip: You need to start the recipe 24 hours in advance by soaking dried chickpeas overnight. Do not used canned!
2 cups dried chickpeas (Do NOT use canned or cooked chickpeas)
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup fresh parsley leaves, stems removed
¾ cup fresh cilantro leaves, stems removed
½ cup fresh dill, stems removed
1 small onion, quartered
7-8 garlic cloves, peeled
Salt to taste
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Canola oil for frying
Lettuce of choice
Chopped tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, olives
One day in advance, place dried chickpeas and baking soda in a large bowl filled with water to cover chickpeas by at least 2 inches. Soak overnight for 18 hours (longer if the chickpeas are still hard). When ready, drain chickpeas completely and pat them dry.
Add chickpeas, herbs, onions, garlic and spices to the large bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade. Run food processor 40 seconds at a time until all is well combined forming falafel mixture.
Transfer mixture to a container and cover tightly. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or (up to one whole night) until ready to cook.
You can bake or fry these, though I recommend frying for best flavor.
Just before frying, add baking powder and sesame seeds to falafel mixture and stir with spoon.
Scoop tablespoonfuls of mixture and form into patties (½ inch in thickness each). It helps to have wet hands as you form patties.
Fill medium saucepan 3 inches up with oil. Heat oil on medium-high until it bubbles softly. Carefully drop the falafel patties in oil, letting them fry for about 3 to 5 minutes until crispy and medium brown on the outside. Avoid crowding in saucepan and fry in batches.
Place cooked patties on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up extra oil.
(To bake: preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly oil a baking sheet. Give each patty a quick brush of extra virgin olive oil before baking; bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, turning the falafel patties over halfway through baking.)
Serve falafels hot in pita with toppings or as a mezze and enjoy!
Compliments to @TheMediterraneanDish for this recipe!