Falafel is a very delicious Middle-Eastern gourmet appetizer that has become popular in the West over the past several years. It’s made from a deep fried paste of chick peas, fava beans, and a mix of onions and different herbs and spices.
Different cultures prepare Falafel differently…
When we discussed this recipe with a Palestinian friend of ours, he told us that Palestinians don’t add Fava beans to their Falafel, they make it solely with Chickpeas. Some Egyptian recipes on the other hand make it purely from Fava beans, with no chickpeas… so there, be creative and try it with different beans. Some folks even tried it with green peas.
Our featured Falafel recipe is good for a serving of 10 and the leftover dough can be stored in a ziplog plastic bag in the freezer for a few weeks. All ingredients of this Falafel recipe can be purchased at Middle Eastern grocery stores.
Author: Esperance Sammour
Recipe type: Middle Eastern, Lebanese, Appetizer, Sandwich, Street Food
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 7 mins
Total time: 37 mins
1 lb of dry peeled fava beans*
¾ lbs of of dried chickpeas (aka Garbanzo beans)
1 bunch of Italian parsley (chop away the stems)
2 bunches of green cilantro (chop away the stems)
8-10 cloves of freshly peeled garlic, crushed
1 large red or yellow onion
1 bunch of green onions
2 table spoons of salt
A dash of black pepper
2 table spoons of flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 dash of red chilli pepper (optional, if spicy falafel is desired)
1 teaspoon of cumin
3 teaspoons of Coriander
Falafel Tahini Sauce Ingredients
2 Table spoons of Tahini Paste
1 cup of freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
3 gloves of garlic, crushed
a dash of salt
Optional Falafel Serving Sides
Salty Lebanese Pickles (cucumbers, turnips, pickled chilli peppers)
Chopped fresh Italian parsley
Preparing the Falafel Mix
- Soak the fava beans and the chickpeas in water in separate containers overnight.
- The following day drain the fava beans, rinse them with fresh water then peel them (you can save time by buying peeled fava beans).
- Dry fava beans in a colander for a few moments then run them in the food processor for a minute or two until they look like thin bread crumbs. Put aside in a large bowl.
- Similarly rinse and dry the chickpeas then run them in the food processor until they reach the same consistency of the Fava beans. Pour on top of fava beans.
- Place the garlic, red onions, green onions, parsley, cilantro, coriander, salt, peppers and flour in the food processor and run for a couple of minutes until they turn into a paste.
- Add them to the container with the fava beans and Chickpeas and knead with hands until they reach a doughy texture. If they feel dry add a bit of water and kneed a bit more. At this point feel free to taste the Falafel mix to make sure it has a balanced flavor.
Frying the Falafel
- Minutes prior to frying, sprinkle baking soda on the Falfel mix, knead and let rest. When ready heat 1 inch deep of cooking oil in the frying pan on medium heat
- Scoop the falafel into by using a specialized Falafel scoop, an ice cream scoop, or by using 2 spoons whereby you scoop the falafel paste in one, and press the other spoon against it to compact into a “cake” then drop gently into the frying pan.
- Fry for a few minutes until the falafel turns brownish then scoop them out place on a paper town or in a colander and to dry out the extra oil.
Baking the Falafel
- For the health conscious, you can scoop then layer the falafel patties on an aluminum/cooking tray that has been lightly oiled and bake in the panggangan at 400F for 7-10 minutes.
- Falafel Tahini Sauce Preparation
- Mix the Tahini sauce ingredients in the blender until they reach a homogeneous texture.
- Sample to ensure a balance of flavors. A good Falafel Tahini sauce should taste a bit tangy with a hint of garlic.. the sauce should end up looking cream/whitish.
Serve as a side/dip.
- Putting Together the Falafel Sandwich
- While still hot, crush cooked falafel balls along the diameter of a pita bread, garnish with some chopped parsley leaves, add a table spoon of Tahini sauce, add some tomatoes, salted pickles, roll and enjoy.
Where to Find Fava Beans: look for it in Arab-owned Middle Eastern grocery stores.