Falafel

Last week many of you have messaged me on Instagram and Facebook, asking why there are no updates on the blog and when I will be posting the recipes. Sorry, I have been MIA since Sep 26! I was working mostly everyday and it was Navratri week. Around Thursday, I got sick and you know the rest. Finally started feeling better last week after starting antibiotics. It was also my birthday last week and we didn’t have time to celebrate it during the week due to sickness, so we had little weekend getaway to baltimore this past weekend. Literally, we just got back this evening and as I promised I am sharing this post this evening! Now before all of you message me again, let me share this falafel recipe with you all..

I am not sure If I ever met anyone who does not love falafel and its pretty much the standard restaurant vegetarian option at any Mediterranean restaurants. I have had my fair share of falafels on travels through Europe, and throughout states, but there is nothing like a homemade falafel where you can customize everything to your own taste buds. Falafels are made from chickpeas, which are loaded with protein and fiber. They are gluten free, vegan, and great source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.

Traditionally, falafel is made from chickpeas, fava beans, herbs, and spices. The mixture is then formed into balls or patties and deep-fried consistency of a fritter. I wont lie they taste amazing deep fried, but if you are heathy conscious like me, you can bake this deliciousness instead of frying them. They are as delicious when baked and half the calories! Then served with pita bread along with homemade yogurt sauce, spicy garlic-chili sauce (optional) and choice of veggies. These are an amazing appetizers for parties or perfect for light meal. Whenever I make this dish for parties, I always make few extra for dinner the next day. They freeze well, so all you have to do is pop them in the air fryer the next evening and make your falafels! Dinner becomes very easy! They are also amazing option to keep on hand for future salads or sandwiches.

Ingredients

1 cup dried chickpeas, rinsed, soaked overnight

½ cup chopped onion

½ bunch of cilantro

½ bunch of parsley

6-8 cloves of garlic

3-4 green chilies, adjust to your spice level

1-2 tsp of salt, adjust to taste

1 tsp of black pepper

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp chili powder (optional)

½ tsp baking soda

Oil for frying

For falafel pita sandwiches

Chopped lettuce (any type)

Chopped tomatoes

Chopped onions

Chopped cucumbers

Hummus

Chili-garlic chutney (dry red chilies, garlic, salt, lemon juice – grind with little water until puree)

Tzatziki sauce – will post recipe soon!

Method

The night before, soak the dried chickpeas in water. Make sure the water covers all the chickpeas and there is excess 3 inches of water on top, because they will increase in size. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add them to the food processor or Vitamix. To the food processor, add onions, parsley, cilantro, salt, pepper, garlic, cumin, baking soda. Pulse until you reach a coarse texture that holds together. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and keep it aside.

Use your hands or ice cream scooper to form falafel into small balls. At this point you can either bake them or deep fry them. If you are baking than heat oven to 400F. Place the falafel balls onto a lined baking sheet and bake them for 30 minutes or until golden brown. I usually turn them half way, so they are crispy and cooked thoroughly all the way around.

If you are deep frying, then heat oil for frying over medium heat. Once hot, deep fry until golden brown. Falafels are best golden on the outside, not charred. Make sure the oil does not get too hot, otherwise the inside will not be cooked thoroughly. Fry them in batches and remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain excess oil. Your falafels are ready!

Serve warm or at room temperature with tzatziki sauce, tahini sauce, pickled vegetables, pita bread, or your favorite salad. I usually make falafel pita sandwiches with veggies, hummus, chili-garlic chutney and tzatziki sauce. Honestly, you can serve them however you like!

Notes-

If your falafel mixture is too dry, then add some water and pulse couple more times. If your falafel mixture is too wet, you can add 1-2 tbsp of chickpea flour to help with binding and will absorb excess water. Left over falafels are good up to 4 days in the fridge or you can freeze them and reheat in air fryer whenever needed.

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