Friday, 17 July 2009


Falafel are surprisingly easy to make; they just take some advance planning as you will need to soak the chick peas. Do not make the mistake of using canned chick peas. The result will be soft and mushy. Proper falafel should have a bit of sandy, gritty texture and crunch.

Normally they are deep-fried, but pan frying works perfectly well and uses a lot less oil.

I put good big handfuls of herbs in these, and they came out a bit on the green side, but there's nothing wrong with that. I also used Korean red chile for my chile. You may notice I call for it quite often. That's because a year or so back I bought the smallest packet my local Korean grocery had - one pound! I'm still working my way through it, but it's a very nice middle-of-the-road chile, not too hot, but nicely flavoured and with a good bite. Although mine is probably milder than it was... adjust whatever you use to its strength and your preferences.

24 patties (8 servings)
4 1/2 hours - 30 minutes prep time

Falafel Patties with Tahini Sauce
Make the Falafels:
2 cups dried chick peas

1 large onion
4 to 6 cloves of garlic or garlic scapes
1/2 cup parsley
1/2 cup cilantro
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cumin seed
2 teaspoons ground red chile (not cayenne!)
OR 2 small dried red chiles

1/2 cup chick pea flour

oil to fry

Put the chick peas in a pot with water to cover generously, and bring them to a boil. Turn them off as soon as they do so, and leave them, covered, to soak for 4 hours to overnight. Drain them.

Put half of the drained chick peas in a food processor, along with half of the peeled onion, coarsely chopped, half of the peeled garlic or coarsely chopped garlic scapes, half of the parsley and cilantro and half of the seasonings. Process until everything is finely chopped. You will need to stop and scrape down the sides several times.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the chick pea flour over the mixture, and blend it in. Turn the mixture into a mixing bowl, and repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Form the mixture into small balls, or small flat patties - easier if you are not deep-frying.

Deep fry the falafel balls until a dark golden brown, or do what I do: pour about 1/4" of oil into a skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Cook the patties on both sides until well browned. This takes just a few minutes; as you can see by my photo I had a hard time keeping on top of them.

Drain on paper towel and serve with pita bread or over rice, with salad and tahini sauce.

Tahini Sauce:
1/2 cup tahini
the juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup water (about)

Work the lemon juice into the tahini until evenly blended, then thin with water, a few tablespoons at a time, until the consistency is like rich cream.

Last year at this time I made Summer Pasta and Salad with Goat Cheese and Blueberries.


Bill Zebedee said...

Looks good J. Will have to try making it (without garlic of course) for Helen and I.

Bill Z.

Ferdzy said...

Hi Bill! Nice to hear from you. I've been meaning to email you; I heard you've taken over Nova Scotia. Can we send you to Ottawa next please?

Joanne said...

I love falafel but have never tried to make them myself! I say the more green the merrier.

Kirsty Girl said...

Is there another type of flour I could use instead? I live in Japan and have yet to see chickpea flower.

Ferdzy said...

Hi Kirsty; I tried them out with chick pea flour so they could be gluten free but yes, they are actually usually made with regular wheat flour. No problem. You may need to adjust the quantity slightly. The idea is the mixture should be moist but should hold together to form a ball or patty.