Friday, July 25, 2014

Fantastic Falafel

Summertime is a great time for falafel, when you can garnish with fresh tomatoes and cucumbers!  I used to cook up the prepared falafel from a local restaurant, but now that I’ve adapted this great recipe (My Favorite Falafel, Epicurious), I like to make my own.  I’m providing the version using canned chickpeas.  Enjoy!

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1 can chickpeas, drained
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
2 tblsp finely chopped fresh parsley (about 1 tblsp dried)
2 tblsp finely chopped fresh cilantro (about 1 tblsp dried)
1 tsp salt
1/2 – 1 tsp dried hot red pepper
4 cloves garlic (or 4 tsp jar garlic)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp baking powder
4-6 tblsp flour
canola oil for frying
chopped tomato, chopped cucumber for garnish
tsatsiki sauce for garnish
pita bread

  1. Put chickpeas and onions in a food processor or blender.  Add parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin.  Blend until mixed, but not pureed.
  2. Sprinkle in the baking powder and about 4 tblsp of flour and continue to blend (If you’re using a blender, I recommend you take the mix out of the blender and begin mixing by hand at this stage).  Keep adding flour until dough forms and you can make a little ball without the dough sticking to your hands. 
  3. Place bowl in frig and cool for a few hours (this step is optimal, but not mandatory – it just keeps the falafel from falling apart in the oil.  If you don’t refrigerate, just use hot oil and be very gentle.)
  4. Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep frying pan.  Form the falafel into little balls and fry a few minutes on each side, until golden brown. 
  5. Serve in pita with tomatoes, cucumbers, and tsatsiki.

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