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Authentic Falafel Recipe

Authentic Falafel Recipe



  • 3/4 cup dry chickpeas (yields 2 cups soaked), soaked 10-24 hours
  • 1 cup cilantro, packed (stems ok) or sub-Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup white or yellow onion, rough chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 of a jalapeno, seeds ok (add the entire thing if you want a little kick)
  • 1 tablespoon ground Coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2– 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt (add more to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • high heat oil for frying, or spray oil for baking
  • Instructions

    1. Soak: Cover the dry chickpeas in a bowl of ample cold water on the counter for 10-12 hours or up to 24 hours in the fridge. They will swell into 2 cups. Place in a strainer, drain well, pat dry with a towel for extra dryness. (Wet chickpeas will be more difficult to fry.)
    2. Blend: Place onion, garlic, cilantro, and jalapeno in the food processor and pulse 10 times until chopped. Add the 2 cups of the soaked, raw chickpeas, salt, spices, and baking soda, pulse again 10 times, scrape down sides, then add the olive oil, and process 10 seconds, until it is well blended but still coarse like sand. Don’t overwork it- this should not be smooth but coarse and granular for the best texure. Place the falafel dough in the fridge for 20 minutes.
    3. Preheat oven (or toaster oven) to 400F.
    4. Form: Using damp hands, form round, golf ball-sized balls in your hands, compressing them tightly, slightly flattening them. The dough will feel damp, and this is OK- the compression with your palms will help bind them. If they feel incredibly wet, feel free to lightly dredge in flour if you absolutely must- but I don’t even when wet.
    5. Pan sear: In a non-stick pan or well-seasoned cast iron skillet, heat a 1⁄4 inch of “high- heat” oil on med-high heat until it sizzles when a pea-sized portion of falafel is dropped in. Turn heat to medium. Place them carefully in the hot oil, (they are fragile but should hold together just fine) slightly press down, and do not move them until they develop a deeply golden crust (this crust will ensure they naturally release themselves from the pan). Using a thin metal spatula, carefully turn them over. Lower heat if necessary. Sear the other side. Each side will take about 3-4 minutes. Cook in batches, not overcrowding.
    6. Place falafels in the oven while you cook the remaining falafels to cook them through. Keep them in a warm oven until ready to serve.
    7. Falafels can be cooked ahead, frigerated, and reheated in the oven. Alternatively, the falafel “dough” can be made ahead, refrigerated, and used throughout the week.
    8. Serve with our pita bread, tahini sauce, or tzatziki, or make pickled onions.
  • Credit:

    Sylvia Fountaine

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