I remember when I first discovered falafels as a teenager. I thought it was the most brilliant idea of all time. Deep fried veggie balls inside a sandwich – yes please! It leaves you with more energy than if you’d eaten a burger, but you still get that hearty ‘full’ feeling – incredibly satisfying.
I’d tried making them before, but this time I examined all the recipes out there and decided that the ones that use baking powder must know something I don’t know. Baking powder? That has to be the trick to making them stick together like little donuts rather than getting too crumbly and falling apart, I thought. And I was so right!
So with credit to Sean’s Falafel and Cucumber Sauce for the main inspiration, this is how I did it:
30 ounces (2 cans) chickpeas /garbanzo beans, drained
1 large onion chopped
3/4 cup parsley
4 cloves garlic
4 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup breadcrumbs
In a large bowl, mash the chick peas by hand into a thick paste.
In a food processer, blend the onion, parsley and garlic well and then stir them into the chick peas.
In a small bowl combine the egg, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, lemon juice and baking powder. The smooth and frothy consistency of this mixture is what makes these falafel balls superior! Stir this mixture in with the chick peas and then add the oil, then the breadcrumbs, stirring until smooth.
Form balls with your hands and drop them into a skillet with one-inch deep vegetable oil heated to medium high heat. Work quickly to get those balls the hell out of there before you burn them! Make sure you have a slotted metal spoon at the ready and paper towels on a plate to absorb the excess oil. And for god’s sake, keep the kids and animals away from the deep fry pan at all times!
As a side note, Richard rules at deep frying. I’ll have to do a post on his home made french fries. Though he’s only hand modeling here, it should be pointed out that he’s very handsome as well.
Stuff the falafel balls into whole wheat pita and surround with tomatoes, cucumber yogurt sauce (we bought Tzadziki pre-made at Trader Joe’s, but I’m sure that Sean guy’s recipe is worth looking at above) hummus, cilantro, parsley, lettuce, onions – whatever you think will taste right that you have handy – and dig in!
Violet seemed to like the balls okay, but putting a sandwich together was completely out of the question. Mostly she hoarded the balls on her plate and tried to make them look like Mickey Mouse. But overall, pretty kid friendly!
My finished sandwich is not pictured here because I was too hangry (hungry to the point of anger) to keep playing photographer. Nothing to do with the amount of time it took to make the falafels you understand. I just needed to eat.
And then you can save the rest of the falafel balls for a snack the next day – delicious!