What is Falafel?
Falafel is a middle eastern recipe made of chickpeas or fava beans as the main ingredient. It is usually deep-fried when mixed with other ingredients and vegetables such as onions, pepper, seasoning, and lemon juice; falafel can be eaten as it is or stuffed in a pita bread pocket with tomatoes and tahini drizzled on it as a spread.
There is a type of sandwich prepared the same way and referred to by the same name as “Falafel”; it is usually wrapped with pickled vegetables, hot sauce, salad, and tahini sauce. Therefore, the word Falafel or Felafel could refer to the balls or the wrapped salad.
Falafel recipe is a healthy vegan recipe that has fewer calories and carbs especially when baked; deep frying adds more calories to your homemade falafel recipe because of the oil. The beans are a source of protein.
It is a common middle eastern food recipe that is believed to have originated from Egypt before being exported to other middle eastern countries.
- 1 cup of dried chickpeas or fava beans. I prefer dried chickpeas to canned chickpeas because the dried gives a chewy and crispy texture unlike the canned that is very soft.
- One tablespoon of all-purpose flour. For gluten-free falafel, you can use potato starch, almond flour, tapioca flour, or cornflour.
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1 lemon.
- 1 small-sized onion and 2 garlic cloves
- 1/3 teaspoon of black pepper powder
- Half a teaspoon, each of ground cumin and coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/3 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (ground) and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to taste
- A bunch of fresh parsley or half a bunch of fresh cilantro or both.
Steps on How to Make Falafel
- Firstly, the dried chickpeas are soaked in water for at least 8 hours to become very soft and make it easier for grinding or blending. I usually keep it overnight.
- The next day, the soaked chickpeas become soft and swollen; I then rinse thoroughly with water and blend into a paste.
- Add other remaining ingredients; onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and vegetables are then added together in the blender or food processor.
- Blend until you have a smooth paste. Some people do not add the vegetables together in the blender; they prefer chopping the vegetables and adding to the falafel mix when it has already been blended. Others do not add vegetables, it all depends on your choice.
- The falafel mix formed is then poured into a container and then covered with a clinched film, and place in the fridge for about 2 hours. This releases the flavor of your ingredients into the mix.
- After 2 hours, the mix is taken and made into balls or desired shapes: sometimes cookie-like shapes. Sesame seeds are sometimes sprinkled on the balls before frying; this is entirely optional.
Deep frying or baking
- You can deep fry your falafel balls or bake them in an oven. To deep fry them, add oil in a pan and place it on the heat. All the oil to heat up and then gently add the falafel balls you just made from the mixture.
- Be sure to flip from side to side to prevent burning and allow for even frying. It takes about 5 minutes to be completely fried. Once it is nicely brown, remove from the heat and drain on a paper towel.
- Your easy homemade falafel recipe is ready
Every 100 grams of Falafel recipe contains about 333-kilo calories and 32 grams of carbs. It also has 7 grams of fats and 13 grams of protein.
It can be eaten hot right away or often eaten with pita bread and tahini or with flatbread. The fritters are used by vegans as a replacement for meat or fish. Any excess can be frozen or refrigerated in a ziplock bag, or in any container with a lid. You can always microwave it and eat.
Making Falafel with canned chickpeas does not turn out crispy and may not be firm or chewy because the canned chickpeas are very soft.