There are not many foods that I am always in the mood for, but I am always game for falafel. I must have eaten hundred (maybe thousands? Don’t put it past me) falafels over the years but had never made them from scratch at home. Like many of our favorite foods, this wasn’t as difficult as I’d thought it would be. Does this mean I won’t eat order it out as much? Absolutely not. Falafel is a good idea anytime, anywhere.
Falafel’s seems to be a bit controversial, but from what I can tell, its earliest form was created in Egypt about 1,000 years ago. We can credit Israel for the way we enjoy it today, on delicious pita bread. It didn’t even come to the United States until the 1970’s. A world without falafel? Not for me.
Enough talk about this delicious Middle Eastern staple. It’s time for you to make it! Let me know how yours came out in the comments and tag me on Instagram!
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 large red onion, ½ diced and ½ thinly sliced into half moons for pickling
Handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
Handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp red pepper flakes (or more, depending on spice preference)
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp baking soda
5 tbsp flour (for gluten-free, use chickpea flour)
Vegetable or canola oil, for frying
Pickled onions (recipe from My Favorite Vegan Tacos recipe)
3 tbsp fresh parsley
3 tbsp fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp tahini
½ cup coconut milk
½ tsp salt
- To a food processor, add chickpeas, onions, parsley, cilantro, salt, cumin, red pepper and garlic. Pulse or process until everything is mixed and blended, but not pureed. Turn the mixture into a medium-sized bowl and add in the flour and baking soda. Mix well to incorporate. Cover the mixture and refrigerate for an hour (or put it in the freezer for 20 minutes).
- While the falafel mixture chills, make your sauce. Add all ingredients (parsley, cilantro, lemon, tahini, coconut milk and salt to your food processor). Puree until completely smooth. Transfer to a bowl or jar and refrigerate.
- Heat at least 2 inches of oil in a deep skillet (cast iron worked great for this) to around 375 F. Make a small ball about the size of a walnut, and fry as a test. If it falls apart, add more flour to the mix.
- Continue to form the rest of the falafel and fry about 6 at a time, until brown on both sides. This will happen fast, so make sure to keep an eye and turn them over when necessary. When falafel are done, allow them to cool on paper towels to soak the excess oil.
- Once cooled enough to handle, fill your pitas with falafel, arugula, tomato, pickled onions, tahini herb sauce and any other toppings you might enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Epicurious.