Updated: Jun 15, 2020
The Best Recipe For Falafel
Making Falafel is much easier than you may think. Especially if you have a winning recipe - which is exactly what you are about to read. So here you go - the best recipe for Falafel!
You will need to soak dried chickpeas overnight for your falafel (פלאפל) to turn out right; canned beans are too tender and contain too much moisture to achieve the right consistency. Don’t cook the beans, because this will result in a mushier and denser falafel, which is not the proper texture.
1 lb dry chickpeas (gargirei hummus - גַּרְגִּירֵי חוּמוּס). you must start with dry, do not substitute canned, they will not work!
1 small onion (batzal - בָּצָל), roughly chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (petruzilia - פֶּטְרוֹזִילְיָה)
3-5 cloves garlic (shinei shum - שִׁנֵּי שׁוּם) (I prefer roasted garlic cloves)
1 1/2 tbsp flour (kemah - קֶמַח) or chickpea flour
1 3/4 tsp salt (melah - מֶלַח)
2 tsp cumin (camun - כַּמּוּן)
1 tsp ground coriander (cusbara - כֻּסְבָּרָה)
1/4 tsp black pepper (pilpel shahor- פִּלְפֵּל שְׁחוֹר)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Pinch of ground cardamom (hel - הֵל)
Vegetable oil (shemen - שֶׁמֶן) for frying - grapeseed, sunflower, avocado, canola, and peanut oils all work well
You will also need: food processor, skillet.
Makes 30-34 falafel balls.
Pour the chickpeas into a large bowl (ke’ara - קְעָרָה) and cover them by about 3 inches of cold water. Let them soak overnight. They will double in size as they soak – you will have between 4 and 5 cups of beans after soaking.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas well. Pour them into your food processor along with the chopped onion, garlic cloves, parsley, flour or chickpea flour, salt, cumin, ground coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and cardamom.
Pulse all ingredients together (beyahad - בְּיַחַד) until a rough, coarse meal forms. Scrape the sides (tsdadim - צְדָדִים) of the processor periodically and push the mixture down the sides. Process till the mixture is somewhere between the texture of couscous and a paste. You want the mixture to hold together, and a more paste-like consistency will help with that.
Once the mixture reaches the desired consistency, pour it out into a bowl and use a fork (mazleg - מַּזְלֵג) to stir; this will make the texture more even throughout. Remove any large chickpea chunks that the processor missed.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
Fill a skillet (mahvat - מַחְבַת) with vegetable oil to a depth of 1 ½ inches. Heat the oil slowly over medium heat. Meanwhile, form falafel mixture into round balls or slider-shaped patties using wet hands or a falafel scoop. The balls will stick together loosely at first, but will bind once they begin to fry.
If the balls won't hold together, place the mixture back in the processor again and continue processing to make it more paste-like. Keep in mind that the balls will be delicate at first; if you can get them into the hot oil, they will bind together and stick. If they still won't hold together, you can try adding 2-3 tbsp of flour or chickpea flour to the mixture. If they still won't hold, add 1-2 eggs to the mix.
When the oil is at the right temperature, fry the falafels in batches of 5-6 at a time till golden brown on both sides.
Once the falafels are fried, remove them from the oil using a slotted spoon.
Let them drain on paper towels. Serve the falafels fresh (tari - טָרִי) and hot.
If your falafel is too hard/too crunchy on the outside, there are two possible reasons: you didn't process the mixture enough - return the chickpea mixture to the processor to make it more paste-like. Or, the chickpeas you used were old. Try buying a fresher batch of dried chickpeas next time.
Bon appétit! - bete'avon - בתאבון