Falafels are one of my favorite foods, when done correctly. They can easily be dry or tasteless, but when perfectly crunchy on the outside, light on the inside, and bursting with flavor they are delicious! The trick to perfect falafel is to used soaked, but not cooked, chickpeas. The texture is far superior to those falafels using cooked chickpeas. I also love the addition of lots of fresh herbs in this recipe. These flalafel are also surprisingly easy and quick as long as you remember to soak the chickpeas the night before and you use a food processor to bring everything together.
I suggest making a double batch if you plan to share.
- 1 cup dried chickpeas
- 1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup roughly 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 or chickpea flour if gluten free
- Soybean or vegetable oil for frying
- Chopped tomato for garnish
- Diced onion for garnish
- Tahini sauce
- Pita bread or salad
- 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.
- 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.
- Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough 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.
- Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts.
- 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.
- Using either salad or pita, top with flalafel and any garnishes of your choice.