What is Falafel? Falafel is Middle Eastern dish prepared using fava beans or chickpeas, or a combination of the two. I have tried just with chickpea and combining both and it tastes amazing too. The use of chickpeas is predominant in most Middle Eastern countries. The dish is usually made with chickpeas in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and Palestine. (Source – Wikipedia)
My family is a big fan of falafel sandwich. We always go to this one restaurant in Toronto which has delicious falafel and zaatar manakeesh (my favourite). I have not tried making manakeesh at home, it is like Middle Eastern pizza but I do make falafel sandwiches at home.
Whenever I made falafel in the past, I used to buy ready to make pack, you just have to add water to the powder mixture, make patties and then fry. But I always found that very dry. The falafel we picked up from store were also dry most of the time. I was thinking of making falafel from scratch at home for quite sometime, but there was never a right time. I have seen few recipes which I really enjoyed reading and thought the taste would be superb. So finally when I decided to make falafel at home, I decided to make green falafel. I used flat leaf (Italian) parsley but you can use coriander (cilantro) or both. Flat leaf parsley has a subtle flavour so it doesn’t overpower the falafel. I wanted to make gluten-free so added oat flour instead of regular flour. It was a great success! My family absolutely loved it and they were really surprised how good they tasted. I try not to make fried food at home but this was the 1st time I was making from the scratch so I wanted to see how actually it tastes if patties are fried (it was worth frying). Next time I am going to make it in appe pan (appam patra/paniyaram pan). These falafel are then wrapped in to pita bread with hummus, lettuce, onion, tomato and pickles. Or you can simply serve with salad and hummus on the top. I also make my own hummus at home.
Without much ado, here is how I made falafel which was enough for 4 people.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
2 cups dry chickpeas (or half and half fava beans and chickpeas) soaked overnight
1 small onion chopped
2-3 garlic cloves
2 cup Italian (flat leaf) parsley or coriander (cilantro) leaves or both 1/2 & 1/2
2 tbsp oat flour or plain flour
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp crushed coriander seeds
1 tsp black pepper powder
Salt to taste
Oil for frying
1. Soak dry chickpeas overnight or at least 6-7 hours.
2. In a blender jar, combine chopped onion, garlic, parsley and make a fine paste. In the same jar add soaked chickpeas (not boiled) and make granular paste using little water.
3. Remove the paste in a big bowl, then add oat or plain flour little by little so you don’t end up with lots of flour in the paste. I added around 2 tbsp flour. Also add cumin powder, crushed coriander seeds, black pepper powder and salt. Mix everything well. The mixture should be thick enough so you can make patties in your hand.
4. Heat oil in a frying pan. When oil is hot, turn down the heat to medium and then make a patty using both your hands, then drop the patty in the hot oil. Drop 5-6 patties at a time. Do not over crowd the frying pan. You can also prepare it in appe pan if you don’t want to fry. You can also prepare these in appam just shape it round rather than flat. I also tried on cast iron pan and it came out crispy from the outside.
5. Fry patties on a medium heat flipping few times until golden brown from all the sides. When ready, remove on paper towel.
6. When you are ready to serve the falafel sandwich, thinly chop lettuce and few leaves of parsley. Thinly slice onion, tomato and pickles of your choice.
7. In a bowl mix hummus, hot sauce and some water.
8. To make falafel sandwich, slightly warm pita and open the middle layer to half the length. Then spread hummus on the one side, spread veggies and pickles and 3 falafel patties. Break the patties slightly before rolling in to a wrap.
9. If you don’t want to eat pita or on gluten-free diet, in a serving bowl add 3-4 falafel patties. Add salad and pickles. On the top spread hummus and serve. These falafel patties are super moist from inside and crispy from outside. Crushed coriander seeds added wonderful flavour to the dish.
10. You can serve it as pakoda with raddish and chili pickle, olives and hummus.
Hope you will enjoy this Middle Eastern or Mediterranean cuisine. If you haven’t tried it before, I would highly recommend it. It is gluten-free, nut free and also perfect for people on vegan diet.
Also let me know if you have any questions regarding the dish.
Thank you for stopping by :). Happy cooking!
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