While deciding on the recipes to try for this week’s chosen theme for the Blogging Marathon #110 of “Middle Eastern”, Falafel was surely on top of the list. I don’t know if you would find it a shocker but back home in Kotakkal, a little shop called Salsabeel sells such amazing Falafel sandwiches that sell like hot cakes! In December when I had gone home, we were on the way back after the doctor’s appointment for the TMJ, and D suggested we stop over to eat something. I am sure we all do that on long drives – at least one stop for a cup of chai and some munching. I was in this outlet for the first time so I let him do the ordering for me. We were served with hot falafel sandwiches, that were so mouthful and delightful – I am typing with this with as much water in my mouth for a ship to sail! He then said that the cook was once upon a time a Gulf based cook, and this is his specialty.
There is another dainty outlet on the Sharjah-Ajman border that sells falafels really cheap. What more, he always gives more than what we have ordered. It comes with a tahini sauce and the falafels are so delightful! OK, so now why do I start with these incidents? I have never been confident of doing it on my own. After eating such delightfully mouthful falafels, making it at home is not something I was confident about. Moreover, the original falafel has much more than just chickpeas in it. I have always been eyeing Sawsan’s recipe but then getting fava beans that are split up was not an easy task. Whole fava beans are really a pain, after my experience with it in this delicious dip.
Finally I decided to give up my quest for making the recipe authentically and concentrating on a recipe that can be made with ingredients straight from your pantry. Hehe… my eyes first fell on this recipe and I decided to model mine based on it. It is just thirty minutes from start to finish if you have pre-soaked chickpeas ready with you. Did you know that you could freeze any of the peas once they are pre-soaked? It is a tip that Niloufer had shared during one of the Ramadans. You do not even need to defrost it, you just need to keep it out and add when the basic sauteing or the first steps are over. I am usually that planned as far as my dried beans are concerned. I soak very little and cook them as soon as they are soft. It so happened that my SIL had over-soaked lots of chickpeas and she didn’t know what to do with the leftover uncooked ones. So I helped her by pushing it into the freezer and used them to make this simple batch of falafels!
Usually parsley is used as the major herb in this deep fried delicacy but I forgot to get a batch and ended up using coriander instead. But I noticed that there are recipes where both are used, so I am correct still with the coriander. 😉 All you need to do is to blitz all your ingredients till you have a dough consistency, roll them and drop them into hot oil. Fry them on a meduim-low flame so that they are brown and crispy on the outside, while perfectly cooked on the inside. I was a little impatient – as I always am 😕 – and ended up having a couple of under-cooked ones, but Alhamdulillah, I discovered my folly pretty soon and got it right. 😀 Off to this super easy recipe…
- 1 cup pre-soaked dry chickpeas
- 3 cloves garlic
- A handful of parsley (refer notes)
- ½ small onion, chopped
- ¼ tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder (or cayenne)
- ¼ tsp black pepper powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp coriander powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp chickpea flour
- Oil for deep frying
- Add all the ingredients in a processor and blitz till the whole mixture comes together forming a dough.
- Divide them into 10 balls and keep in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Heat oil for deep frying. Once the oil hits smoking point, drop in a few of the falafels. Keep the flame meduim-low to ensure that it cooks well inside and is golden brown on the outside when done.
- Drain and serve warm with sides of choice.