Alright, the cat’s out of the bag in my most recent composite recipe series. Along with Israeli salad and pita bread, I made falafel! Props go to my sister Brynna for guessing correctly via text message. :)
When I saw this recipe in the Jerusalem cookbook, it immediately caught my eye. Who doesn’t love falafel? As I read over the recipe instructions, I was even more excited to see that the authors specifically called for the mixture to be ground using a meat grinder. Being the proud (recent) owner of one of these contraptions, I jumped at the opportunity to use it again, this time for something other than hamburger.
Making homemade falafel also fulfilled a couple of my ongoing 2014 food resolutions: make things from scratch, scratchier; and expand my cultural culinary horizons. It also sort of helped me keep working toward my goal of only purchasing humanely raised meat by adding another great vegetarian recipe to the repertoire. I call that a win-win-win.
Note: This is the final part of my recent composite recipe series. If you want to be crazy like me and go all-out, serve this falafel with homemade pita bread, Israeli salad, and tzatziki. The various components of this recipe can be made a day or two ahead. Or you can pull a Krista and make them all in one evening… and eat dinner at 8:00 at night. Up to you!
- 1 1/4 cups dried chickpeas
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 3 Tbs. water
- 1 1/2 Tbs. flour
- sesame seeds for sprinkling
- sunflower or canola oil for frying
The night before you plan to eat the falafel, place dried chickpeas in a medium bowl and cover with 2 1/2 cups water. Cover bowl and set aside to let soak overnight.
The next day, drain the chickpeas and place back in the medium bowl. Gently toss with onion, garlic, and parsley. Run the mixture through a meat grinder using the finest grinding plate possible. After the first grind, run the mixture through a second time. (Alternatively, you can use a food processor and pulse the mixture until it’s finely chopped.)
Combine ground chickpea mixture with cayenne, cumin, coriander, cardamom, baking powder, kosher salt, water, and flour. Mix well, then cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour. (You can refrigerate it for longer if you don’t plan on eating falafel for breakfast.)
Remove falafel mixture from refrigerator and form into small patties or balls, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. You might need to wet your hands for this step if the mixture is sticky. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
While shaping the patties, heat oil in a medium saucepan or dutch oven with high sides. The oil should be at least an inch deep, preferably two. Heat the oil to 350° F.
Fry the falafel in the hot oil in batches, until dark golden brown and cooked through. Drain on a plate with paper towels. Serve immediately, preferably in fresh pita with tzatziki and Israeli salad.
Source: Slightly adapted from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.