Sorry, I couldn’t help it. I’m Friends’ gal… and this is the falafel episode!! How not to bring it up!
Please enjoy this wonderful and rather easy recipe extracted from a book that Chica Andaluza brought to my attention a while back. Jerusalem is, quoting it’s authors, a glimpse into a hidden treasure: Jerusalem’s flavors.
- 250 g dried chickpeas (already cooked chickpeas will do too)
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 2 tbs finely chopped cilantro
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- Enough sunflower oil, for deep-frying
- 1/2 tsp sesame seeds, for coating (optional)
If using dried chickpeas, place them in a large bowl and cover with cold water at least twice their volume. Set aside to soak overnight. Otherwise, rinse and drain well.
The next day, drain the chickpeas and combine them with the onion, garlic, parsley and cilantro.
Put the chickpea mixture into a food processor (or a meat grinder) and blitz the mix in batches, pulsing each for about 30-40 seconds until it is finely chopped, but not mushy or pasty.
Once processed, add the spices, baking powder, 3/4 tsp salt, flour and water.
Mix well by hand until smooth. Cover the mixture and leave it in the fridge for at least 1 hour or until needed.
Fill a deep, heavy-bottomed medium saucepan with enough oil to deep-fry the falafel. Ideally the oil should be at 350ºF/180 ºC.
With wet hands, press 1 tbsp of the mixture in the palm of your hands to form a patty or a ball the size of a small walnut (you can also use a wet ice-cream scoop for this).
Sprinkle the ball evenly with sesame seeds (if using) and deep-fry them in batches of 3 or 4 for 3 to 4 minutes, until cooked through. The advantage of using already cooked chickpeas is that the cooking time is shorter.
To make sure that the falafel have the right consistency and the oil is at right temperature, make a ball and place it in the saucepan, if it doesn’t start to dissolve, then they are ok to go, if they start to disintegrate, is advisable to add a bit more flour to the mixture (but not too much).
Drain over paper towels and serve at once.
Makes about 20 balls
Recipe from the book Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi