Jacqui P from Portland, Oregon writes: “I would like to know a recipe for falafel that is not so hard and dry, like those mixes you buy. Also, if there is a nice falafel type recipe that is wheat (gluten) free, that would be really good as well.”


My reply: Here’s my recipe for falafel. It is wheat and gluten free as well.

Israeli Chickpea Croquettes (Falafel)

Falafel are spicy chickpea croquettes. The original Egyptian variety contained dried white broad beans and were called ta’amia/ta’ameya. In Israel, chickpeas were substituted for the broad beans. Falafel are delicious served stuffed inside split Middle Eastern flatbreads dressed with tahini sauce or hoummos and accompanied by green salad.

Makes: 14 to 16 falafel

1¼ cups chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained,
½ teaspoon yellow asafetida powder,
3/4 cup finely chopped parsley,
1 teaspoon ground coriander,
1 teaspoon ground cumin,
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper,
1½ teaspoons salt,
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper,
½ teaspoon baking powder,
oil for deep-frying.

Process the chickpeas in a food processor and mince finely. Scrape the minced chickpeas into a bowl. Fold in the herbs, spices, salt, and baking powder. Mix well, knead a little, and leave for a few minutes.

Form the mixture into 14 to 16 falafel balls. Repeat until all the mixture is rolled.

Heat a heavy pan or wok with ghee or oil to a depth of 6.5 – 7.5 cm (2½ – 3 inches), until moderately hot 180°C/355°F. Deep-fry 7 to 8 falafels at a time, turning when required, for 5 or 6 minutes, or until they’re evenly golden brown. If your pan is big enough and your heat source is strong enough, you can cook the whole mixture in one batch, but be careful.

Remove and drain on paper towels. Cook the remaining falafel if there is any mixture left. Serve hot, as recommended above.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The most important rule in falafel-making is DO NOT USE CANNED CHICKPEAS!! They will not work, they are cooked! You must obtain raw, dry chickpeas, and soak them, drain them, grind them, spice them, and then fry them. If you boil the chickpeas, you are wasting your time. The frying falafel will disintegrate in a spectacularly miserable mess.

Posted by Kurma on 15/9/11; 7:41:05 AM

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