No Fry Falafel
Falafel doesn’t need a long introduction. I mean, there is a lot of love going on for these fried babies from the Middle – Eastern kitchen. There is nothing about these that you can’t love. Except the first time, when you try to make them and you are using canned chickpeas. I cursed the bejeezus out of them.
Let me tell you, it was a mess. Or wait, it was more of a falafel warzone. After mashing them with a fork (this was at least 8-9 years ago, forgive me), rolled them into a little ball, I dropped them into the hot oil and they were falling apart like dropping a glass on a floor. After a few tries, I pretty much gave up on making them myself. And frankly, I didn’t like the frying part.
So how did I end up making these babies every other week? Well, the discovery of a bag of dried chickpeas that were lying around minding their own business. I was planning to soak and cook them but then I stumbled upon a recipe that gave away the secret for perfect, crispy falafel. The secret? Yes, you are right: dried, soaked chickpeas. Turns out that the canned on are containing too much moisture, causing the falafel to fall apart when frying them. And since I am not keen on frying, I just baked them in a couple tablespoon of oil. They don’t turn super crispy like traditional ones, but they are less oily and still full of flavour.
Eat them with a fresh salad, grab a homemade pita or just eat them on their own as an afternoon snack. I don’t judge when you want to eat them for breakfast. If you made too much, you can pop them in the freezer for later.
No Fry Falafel
Makes around 10 -12
1 cup | 200 gr dry chickpeas
2 cloves garlic
1 small shallot
1 tsp grounded cumin seeds
1 tsp salt (more to taste)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 handful coriander leaves
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1 1/2 tbs sunflower or vegetable oil
Start with soaking the chickpeas overnight in a large bowl with cold water. When they doubled up in size, drain chickpeas and let them dry completely.
In a food processor, add the chickpeas, garlic, onion, coriander leaves, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add the olive oil when the food processor is running. Pulse until everything is combined and the mixture resembles a coarse crumb. If the mixture feels too dry, add 1/2 tbs oil and pulse for another half a minute.
Grab a spoon, and scoop an amount into your hands to shape till you have a small sized patty. Keep going till the mixture is finished.
Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a medium sized sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot add the patties one by one. You want to leave some room between them so you can easily flip them. If they are golden brown on one side, flip them carefully onto the other side. Add another tablespoon of oil if necessary. If both sides are golden brown, get them out and drain on paper towels. Drain on paper towels and hit with a small pinch of salt.
Fold them in a wrap, shove them in a homemade pita bread or simply with a salad.