/> a mother's heart » Blog Archive » tasty tuesday: falafel

We’ve been on a Mediterranean-food kick lately – I’ve gone through approximately 4 pounds of chickpeas in less than a month.  Happily, I’ve discovered that my local Honeyville store has 25 lb. bags of chickpeas for a better price than I can find anywhere else.  And so garbanzos have become part of our food storage plan.  :)

We also eat meatless at least once a week.  I think it’s good for me as the Chief Cook & Bottle Washer to think outside the box with meal-prep and planning, but I also think it’s good for us in general and good for the grocery budget.  So I try to plan complete-proteins for those meals that don’t rely on black beans and rice all the time, even though that’s one of my favourite complete-protein flavour combinations.  :)

So falafel, although I’d not had it or made it before, came to my radar screen.  I asked one of my Foodie-friends (Joe) if he could recommend a recipe that was worthy of the time and effort it took to make the dish.  He found a good one over at Moti‘s site.  Moti is a Jewish Iraqi who has twists on recipes that create amazing dishes, and I’m completely enamoured with his passion for cooking and the stories he weaves in to his recipes.  I did tweak from Moti’s original recipe, but only because we are onion-intolerant here (I’ll include the onions in the recipe if you like them) and because I used a high-gluten flour to make everything stick together a little better than just using AP flour.

The secret to this dish, I think, is to use baking powder.  I forgot to include it in the first-go ’round of the recipe and while the falafel were tasty, they were quite dense.  I remembered it the next time and the difference was amazing – they were light, fluffy, and still very satisfying, but had an overall better texture and taste.

  • 1 c. of dried chickpeas, soaked overnight (uncooked)
  • 1 small onion (optional)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • ½ c. EACH of fresh cilantro & parsley (can substitute all parsley, if desired)
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 3 T. all-purpose flour
  • 3 T. vital wheat gluten
  • 4 T. olive oil
  • 1½ t. kosher salt
  • ¼ t. cayenne pepper
  • 1 t. EACH coriander (crushed) and cumin
  • oil for frying (I recommend coconut or palm oil)

Drain the chickpeas and in a food processor, whirl them to a fine consistency.  I add about 3T. of olive oil to accomplish this – otherwise they tend to get stuck and there’s inconsistent chopping.  Remove chickpeas from bowl of food processor, setting aside.

Chop (optional onion) garlic, cilantro, parsley, and the last tablespoon of olive oil in the food processor until very finely chopped and combined.

Add to chickpeas, combining with a spatula and including the baking powder, flour, gluten, and spices listed.

Cover the combined falafel mixture and put it in the fridge for AT LEAST 2 HOURS.  This is extremely important as the flour needs time to soak up some of the moisture and the gluten needs time to develop so your falafel doesn’t fall apart when you make them.

Heat your oil to 350F and pull your falafel mixture from the refrigerator.  Using large spoons, shape small oval (spoon-shaped) falafel and gently drop them in the hot oil.

Brown on each side until a medium-brown colour is achieved.  Drain on paper towel.

Serve with hummus and pita, if desired.  Makes a delightful cold, highly-protein-packed breakfast as well.  :)


(b’tayavon – Hebrew for “bon appetit”)

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  • http://swanfeet.wordpress.com/ ladyphlogiston

    sounds yummy! Any idea if these can be frozen? I don’t mind taking the extra trouble if I can freeze half.

  • http://www.mamasheartblog.com sue

    We’ve never gotten them to a place where they COULD be frozen, LadyP. We’ve eaten every crumb of the two batches I’ve made before freezing them was more than a mere concept. But I don’t see why they couldn’t be frozen – they just wouldn’t be crispy until you baked them to thaw them later. :)