Falafels are a chickpea-based recipe traditional of Middle Eastern cuisine. The original recipe requires the use of dried chickpeas, left to soak for at least 24 hours and then used uncooked. It is not uncommon to find recipes where cooked chickpeas are used. A substantial difference will be noticed in the consistency before and after cooking.
Falafels are an excellent source of protein, and fibres are given their high percentage of chickpeas, but above all, a fantastic vegetarian variant. Traditionally cumin and coriander seeds are added, along with fresh parsley, coriander and dill. Still, any other spice can enrich the flavour and give personality to this tasty dish.
As a cooking method, falafels are traditionally fried in plenty of oil for frying, but this recipe makes them perfect even when baked in the oven
- 200g dry chickpeas soaked for 24 hours
- 20g fresh parsley
- 20g fresh dill
- 20g fresh coriander
- ½ brown onion
- 1 lemon
- 30ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 – Soak chickpeas for at least 24 hours. In a blender, put together the soaked, uncooked chickpeas, parsley, dill and coriander lightly chopped, diced onion, garlic, salt and pepper.
2 – Then add the juice of one lemon, cayenne pepper, untoasted cumin and coriander seeds.
3 – Pour in the oil and blitz, keeping the mix relatively coarse. Store in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Then add baking powder and untoasted sesame seeds.
4 – Form the falafel balls using 2 spoons and fry them in generous oil. The outside will get rather brown, and the inside will be of a vibrant green. Serve hot with salad and hummus.
Tips and tricks
You can use cooked chickpeas, but the consistency and flavour will be very different.
Baking powder will make the mix very fluffy
Frying food is fun and better if you use a deep narrow pan. If frying is not your thing, you can bake them in the oven for 15 minutes at 200°C.