(Middle Eastern fried chickpea patties)
4 to 6 servings
- Chickpeas, dried -- 1 cup
- Breadcrumbs -- 1/2 cup
- Garlic, crushed -- 2 to 3 cloves
- Parsley, minced -- 1/4 cup
- Flour -- 2 tablespoons
- Salt -- 1 to 2 teaspoons
- Baking powder -- 1 teaspoon
- Ground coriander -- 1 teaspoon
- Ground cumin -- 1 teaspoon
- Turmeric (optional) -- 1/2 teaspoon
- Cayenne pepper -- 1/2 teaspoon
- Oil for deep frying
- Place the chickpeas in a large saucepan and add water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat and then cover tightly and remove from heat. Let set for 1 to 2 hours to soak.
- Drain the chickpeas and rinse them with fresh water. Place the chickpeas, breadcrumbs and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the chickpeas break down into small pieces the size of breadcrumbs. Do not overprocess to a puree.
- Remove the chickpea mixture to a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients except for the oil and mix together well. The mixture should have a fairly dry, crumbly texture. Add a little water if it is too dry to form balls with your hand. Adjust seasoning to taste. Form the mixture into 1-inch balls or ovals and then flatten slightly.
- Heat oil in a deep fryer to 375°F, or heat 1/2 inch of oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Drop patties a few at a time into the hot oil and brown well on both sides, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the browned from the oil and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with the remaining patties.
- Falafel can be served on its own with taratour sauce. Or stuff it in pita bread halves with tomatoes, cucumbers and onions and eat it like a sandwich.
- Tamiyah (Egypt): Falafel is usually made with fava beans in Egypt. Substitute some or all of the chickpeas with small, dried favas.
- Instead of breadcrumbs, use a piece of pita bread. Just process it into crumbs in the food processor first.
- Some recipes call for the addition of 1 egg. This helps hold the mixture together as it cooks.