One of the best things I ever learned how to do in the kitchen was make Falafel from scratch.
From chickpea to Falafel, it is simpler than most people expect, and who can blame them with the array of Falafel packet mixes about that gives the impression that fresh Falafel is complicated! One thing I can promise is that fresh Falafel will knock your socks off if you have been living off the packet mix stuff!
I am going to teach you how to make fresh, authentic Falafel and I promise you will never look back! The only disadvantage that fresh Falafel has is that you do need to be organised. You cannot just quickly whip it up for dinner as the chickpeas need to be soaked for at least 8 hours before using and the Falafel mixture works better if you refrigerate it for at least a few hours. On the upside, it is incredibly cheap, nutritious, tastes amazing and is really easy if you are organised!
So, let’s start with the ingredients you will need.
For one batch of Falafel (which makes around 20 medium sized Falafel balls) you will need:
- 2 cups of dry chickpeas, soaked for 8-12 hours
- 1 bunch of parsley, chopped
- 2 small onions, quartered or one large onion, cut into 8
- 12 cloves of garlic
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- Oil for deep frying (I use rice bran oil in a deep fryer but you can use any neutral oil and you can deep fry in a saucepan on the stove if you do not have a deep fryer)
Before you make the falafel mixture, it is really important to make sure all the ingredients (especially the soaked chickpeas and parsley) are free from excess water and are as dry as possible. If the mixture is too wet, the falafel has a tendency to fall apart when being fried so please pat dry the ingredients before using them.
As for the procedure, all you do is throw all the ingredients together in a food processor! You blend it in the food processor until you achieve a paste-like consistency but bear in mind it does not need to be perfectly smooth. A few rough bits are completely fine.
Once you have made your mixture, transfer it to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate it for at least 2 hours as this helps to set the mixture and make it hold together better.
Once the falafel mix has been chilled, shape it into balls and deep fry them (around 180c) until they turn into a beautiful golden brown colour. This normally takes 5 minutes.
Falafel tastes amazing in pita bread with tahini, Israeli pickles, cucumber, tomato, lettuce, olives, tabbouli, and cabbage. You can also add fries; and for the real authentic experience, close your eyes and imagine you are feasting Falafel at the Tel Aviv beach.