Falafel is vegetarians’ answer to meatballs. These deep-fried orbs made out of ground fava beans, chickpeas or both, are crunchy balls of pleasure from the land of Middle East.
These falafel balls packed within flatbreads like lafas or pitas make one of the most amazing comfort food that Middle Eastern cuisine has to offer.
Falafel smothered with tahini and hot sauce, along with yummy toppings of pickled vegetables and salads has the potential to make even a hardcore meat lover drool! So just imagine what it could to a vegetarian?
The Copts of Egypt deserves special thanks from all the falafel lovers, for discovering these yummy balls as a substitute for meat during the time of Lent.
Eventually, the culinary goodness of this dish spread throughout the rest of Middle East, and it slowly evolved as one of the most popular street food in this part of the world.
Apart from ruling the streets, falafel also makes its appearance in the daily meal or meze as well as in iftar or the dinner spread served to break fast during Ramadan
No matter when you have falafel, be prepared to be welcomed by a delightful contrast of crispy coating with soft, spicy and overtly delicious interiors.
So set the usual croquettes and fritters aside and enjoy a slice of Middle East with falafel.
Ingredients in Falafels
Makes: 20 balls
· 1 cup dry chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
· 6 tbsp all purpose flour
· 5 garlic cloves
· 1 small onion
· 1 tsp baking powder
· ½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
· ½ cp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
· Oil for frying
· 2 tsp ground cumin
· 1 tsp ground coriander
· Dash of chilli flakes
· 1 tsp salt
· Add the chickpeas to a food processor, along with garlic, onions, cilantro as well as parsley and pulse them into a mashed mixture.
· Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the spices and salt, one after another.
· Stir them all together and then add the flour as well as the baking powder.
· Mix them thoroughly yet again, into a uniform mixture, cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours or more.
· Take small portions of the mixture in your hands and shape them into small round balls.