My Favourite Falafel
Recipe Sourced from Joan Nathan - The Foods of Israel Today
“Falafel was made in two ways: either as it is in Egypt today, from crushed, soaked fava beans or fava beans combined with chickpeas, spices, and bulgur; or, as Yemenite Jews and the Arabs of Jerusalem did, from chickpeas alone. Using the basics taught to me by these falafel mavens, I have created my own version, adding fresh parsley and coriander, two ingredients I like and which originally characterised Arab falafel in Israel. Give me mine wrapped in a nice warm pita bread, swathed in tahina sauce an overflowing with pickled turnip and eggplant, chopped tomatoes, cucumber, amba (pickled mango sauce) — and make it harif, Hebrew for "hot." The type of hot sauce used, of course, depends on the origin of the falafel maker.”
1 cup dried chickpeas
½ large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander
1 teaspoon salt
½ - 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon baking powder
4-6 tablespoons plain flour
vegetable oil for frying
chopped tomato for garnish
diced onion for garnish
tahina sauce or hummus
harissa hot sauce
Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained.
Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, coriander, salt, chilli flakes, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.
Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts, or use a falafel scoop, available in Middle-Eastern markets.
Heat 3 inches of oil to 190C in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Stuff half a pita with falafel balls, chopped tomatoes, onion and tabouli. Top with hummus and if required harissa hot sauce.
Enjoy with a chilled glass of Pfeiffer Ensemble Rosé.