Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Falafel!


Falafel is one of my FAVORITE dinners to make. It's a little more labor-intensive than some options, but it's totally worth the time and work. There are a few shortcuts you can do to make the preparations a bit easier, so I will {note} those along with the traditional way.

What you need:
1 16-oz can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 white onion
2 garlic cloves {or 1+ tablespoon(s) pre-chopped garlic from a jar}
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley {or 2 teaspoons dried parsley}
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons (a couple large pinches) flour
oil for frying

pitas
avocado
tomato

What to do:
  • drain and rinse canned chickpeas
  • boil chickpeas for 10-15 minutes; drain and cool
  • if you want, separate any skins already coming off the chickpeas
  • i use a hand blender to mash the chickpeas, which makes the process much easier
  • put 1/2 the chickpeas in the blend cup with a spoonful of water and blend; add the remaining chickpeas and another spoonful of water and blend
  • mince the two cloves of garlic and as much onion as you want (i end up using about 1 to 2 tablespoons); put in a medium-sized bowl with the seasonings and flour
  • combine chickpea paste with the rest of ingredients in bowl to stir together
  • before cooking the falafel, cut the pita bread in half and put in the oven (200 F) to warm while you do the rest of the prep work
  • traditionally, falafel is prepared in balls and deep-fried. at home, it is easier to make the falafel in patties. let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes to firm up, then press into thin patties, slightly smaller than your palm.
  • use just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan - too much will be absorbed by the falafel patties and they will crumble instead of cook. heat the oil and drop in the patties. you may want to use a splatter screen or cover the pan, because the oil can start to pop out as it gets hot. flip patties and cook each side until a golden brown.
  • when falafel is finished cooking, place on paper towel to absorb excess oil
  • slice the tomato and avocado
  • stuff your pita and enjoy!
One of the great things about falafel is that even if it doesn't look pretty when you're finished cooking it, it doesn't matter! It's going to be stuffed into a pita anyway, and chances are, it still tastes good :) Making falafel is definitely a learning process and might take a couple of times to get it just right (right amount of flour, right amount of oil, etc.)

3 comments:

'Mrs. B' said...

This makes me SO hungry! I can't wait to try your recipe, my man LOVES some falafel!

And BTW, I LOVE your plates!!

live pura vida said...

Oh my gosh I have become so addicted to falafel. I make it every other week now. And thanks about the plates! I tracked these babies down after a quick sighting in some random cookwares store in Myrtle Beach. I'm always afraid I might break one, which would of course send me into a deep depression, hahaha.

biz319 said...

That is something I have never tried before - looks good!