Falafel

Last weekend I had a craving for hummus and went to buy, among other things, chickpeas from the Kroger down the street from my apartment.  There’s a substantial Asian population around it, and as such the ‘international’ aisle is mostly Asian foods with not much space for everything else.  This isn’t usually a problem, but I was surprised to find that they didn’t even carry chickpeas.

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The lack of chickpeas at Kroger must have set off some strange internal panic, because I ended up buying 2 cans of cooked chickpeas and 1 bag of dried ones elsewhere.  Logically, the only thing to do was make falafel to go with the hummus.

I’ve made hummus several times before and pita once, so I thought this would be a good way to combine three recipes into one meal.  For various reasons I opted to bake the falafel and was very pleased with the result.  The hummus recipe I used was from Smitten Kitchen.

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This recipe was exceptionally simple, the only hiccup I experienced was due to the fact that our food processor couldn’t hold all the ingredients at once.

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They were exceptionally filling, and it took us about a week to eat them all.  I imagine they would also freeze well if you wanted to make an even bigger batch and save some for later.

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The first time I made pita (also using the Smitten Kitchen recipe) I had no issues with the bread puffing up.  This time around it was the complete opposite, and only 1 or 2 of them really inflated fully the way they should.  I’m still not sure why this happened, but fortunately I still ended up with some really good flatbread.

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Falafel

Ingredients 

  • 1 3/4 cup dried chickpeas
  • 2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Scant teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 cup chopped parsley or cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • If frying: Neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, for frying

Directions

1. Put the beans in a large bowl and cover with water by 3 or 4 inches; they will triple in volume. Soak for 24 hours, adding water if needed to keep beans submerged.

2. Drain beans well and transfer to a food processor. Add remaining ingredients except oil; pulse until minced but not pureed, scraping sides of bowl down; add soaking water if necessary to allow machine to do its work, but no more than 1 or 2 tablespoons. Keep pulsing until mixture comes together. Taste, adding salt, pepper, cayenne or lemon juice to taste.
3. Scoop heaping tablespoons of batter and shape into balls or small patties.  If baking, place on a lined baking sheet and cook in a 350 degree oven for 18-20 minutes.  
4. If frying, put the oil in a large, deep saucepan to a depth of at least 2 inches; more is better. The narrower the saucepan the less oil you need, but the more oil you use the more patties you can cook at a time. Turn heat to medium-high and heat oil to about 350 degrees (a pinch of batter will sizzle immediately).  Fry in batches, without crowding, until nicely browned, turning as necessary; total cooking time will be less than 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Recipe from Mark Bittman

3 thoughts on “Falafel

  1. Pingback: Pizza Dough and Weekend Things | Bakers & Best

  2. Pingback: Pita Bread | Bakers & Best

  3. Pingback: Roasted Poblano Hummus | Bakers & Best

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