We all have our favourite “Falafel Man” who vends this delicious snack all over the world. In any city in the world, if you see a queue in a food quarter, it will always be for falafels. This deep fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas, fava beans or both, is traditionally a Middle Eastern food. It is usually served in a pita or wrapped in a flatbread and served with a combination of pickled vegetables, tomato and cucumber salsa, hummus and tahini based sauces.
I love falafel balls served as a snack as part of a meze board, which is my favourite way of eating. They are great alternatives to meatballs, and I love to make them crisp on the outside and soft on the inside . Dipped into a tahini yoghurt sauce or a garlic dip and I am in falafel heaven. If you are going to serve them in a wrap however, it is nice to make them into patty shapes, and cooked like a hamburger patty so that the outside is not too crisp and they can be rolled into the wrap with delicious pickled cabbage and some avo salsa.
Both the Hummus and Falafels are great for a meat free meal and with a little effort anyone can make them. Serve the hummus with a dollap of olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika or dukkha and some delicious crunchy fresh vegetables. They can even be frozen, although the texture does change slightly. Give it a bash, they are not as difficult as they seem.
- 1 cup dried chick peas (Garbanzo beans)
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup coriander, chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 2 Tablspoons lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp baking soda (bicarb)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 heaped Tablespoon flour
Soak the chickpeas overnight or for 24 hours.
Drain and put them into a food processor
Add garlic, onion, all the spices, lemon juice, baking soda and lemon juice
Pulse until finely chopped, scraping down the sides every now and than.
You want the mixture to be finely chopped but not so fine that it becomes a paste.
Pack it down into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 - 2 hrs.
Scoop into 12 - 14 small balls.
Deep fry in small batches in vegetable oil at 350ºF for 5 minutes.
The falafels should be crispy and brown on the outside and soft inside
These can be frozen once cooked or can be rolled in balls and frozen raw. If cooked, just reheat in microwave or in the oven.
Serve in a pita with hummus and tahini sauce, and a tomato, cucumber salsa.
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 can)
- 60 ml ( 1/4 cup) tahini
- 60 ml fresh lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 30 ml olive oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 30-45 ml water
- salt and ground black pepper
Using a food processor, combine the tahini and lemon juice and process for a minute, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl then process again. This step gives the hummus its extra creamy texture.
Add the olive oil, garlic, cumin, and salt to the whipped tahini and lemon juice. Process, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl and then processing again.
Using either your cooked chickpeas or the tin, add half of them to the food processor and process for about 1 minute, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl, then add remaining chickpeas and process until thick and quite smooth.
At this stage start adding the water until the desired consistency is reached. It should be nice and creamy.
Add more salt and pepper to your taste.
Serve with a swirl of olive oil .