I was so excited, so drawn in, so salivating when I saw this recipe for falafel over on Making Life Delicious a few weeks ago. The only problem was that I didn’t have a food processor. But somewhere in the back of my mind, a little voice was telling me, “you WILL get a food processor for Christmas… just be patient, Beth.” Sure enough, my parents bought me this food processor as an early Christmas and graduation gift. I’ve been using it non-stop ever since.
Any-whooo. If you’ve never had falafel before, they are a little cake made up of mashed beans (fava or sometimes garbanzo) along with tons of fresh herbs and spices. Traditionally (actually, ALWAYS) they are fried which gives them a wonderful crispy exterior with a soft warm center. I broke the rules and gave them a quick pan fry in non-stick spray. You can send me hate mail now. Actually, I might even send myself some hate mail on that one. Admittingly, my dry cooked falafel are not nearly as good as fried but the flavor of the fresh garlic, herbs and spices definitely carried the little falafel through. I froze most of my falafel uncooked and will probably shallow fry the rest of them.
Falafel can be eaten as an appetizer dipped in tzatziki sauce, placed on top of a greek salad or stuffed into a pita with fresh vegetables, tzatziki or feta. Any way you dish them out, falafel are little power packed cakes of flavor. If you love fresh garlic, you’ll LOVE these babies!
- 2 (15 oz.) cans garbanzo beans $1.58
- ½ med. red onion $0.38
- 1 handful fresh parsley $0.17
- 1 handful fresh cilantro $0.17
- 4 cloves garlic $0.09
- 1 tsp salt $0.05
- ½ tsp cayenne $0.05
- 1 tsp cumin $0.05
- 1 tsp baking powder $0.03
- ½ cup flour $0.07
- Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans and add them to a food processor with the red onion, parsley, cilantro, salt, cayenne, garlic and cumin (all ingredients except baking powder and flour). Process the mixture until it forms a paste. Some chunks are okay and usually desirable. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
- Place the mixture into a bowl and stir in the baking powder. Begin adding flour, 2 Tbsp at a time) until the paste becomes dry enough to form into patties without sticking to your hands. Chick pea or garbanzo bean flour gives the best texture but all-purpose can be used in it’s place. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 4 hours to allow the flavors to blend.
- Using a small measure (about ⅛th cup or 2 Tbsp), form the falafel dough into small patties. If freezing the patties, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet so they can freeze without sticking together. The patties can be transferred to an air-tight container once they have frozen through.
- To cook the fresh or frozen patties, heat oil in a skillet (or pot if deep frying) until very hot but not smoking. Cook the patties on each side until deep golden brown and crispy. Serve with tzatziki, tahini, hummus or stuffed into a pita.
Step By Step Photos
Place all of the ingredients except the baking powder and flour into a food processor (drain and rinse the beans first).
Process the mixture until you have a chunky paste. Chunks add great texture but too many will keep the mixture from holding it’s shape in a patty. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
First stir in the baking powder. Then begin adding flour, 2 Tbsp at a time, until the paste is dry enough to form patties and not stick to your hands.
I had a lot of herbs that were wet from rinsing so I had to add about 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp of flour. Chick pea flour works best but if you don’t have that, use all-purpose. Refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours.
Scoop the falafel out, using a small measuring cup, and form into small patties.
I got 18 falafel with a 2 Tbsp scoop. I placed the falafel on a parchment covered baking sheet so that I could freeze them to cook later. Once the falafel are completely frozen, they can be transferred to a zip top freezer bag and they won’t stick together.
My falafel army…
Okay, here is the incriminating shot… I cooked my falafel in a hot skillet with non-stick spray. I’ll admit, this cooking method did not do them justice texturally. Next time I will pour some oil in that skillet to get a nice crispy exterior on the little guys.
For instructions on deep frying your falafel, read the original recipe on Making Life Delicious.