food amongst family and friends

Falafel by James August 2, 2011

Filed under: Appetizers,Mains,Vegetarian — blisteringlydrunk @ 6:15 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

J has learned to make the ultimate meal: homemade falafel. That’s pretty ultimate in my books. He’s made it three times now and I will admit that all three times I’ve done nothing more than chop a few cukes (and probably drink a beer), so I can’t really speak to the difficulty level…but it all looks easy enough from the sidelines. You just need to plan it out ahead of time because the chickpea mixture needs to be made a few hours in advance and you need to have a big jug-o-oil ready to go. Combined with a few choice ingredients, this just may be the best falafel I’ve eaten.

Speaking of choice ingredients, you can top these with whatever you like, but here’s my recommended combination: fresh pita and hummus from the Calgary Crossroads market (or your market/deli of choice), a tahini sauce (whisk up some tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and dried chilis), ripe tomatoes, sliced white onion, cilantro and loads of chopped parsley. The tahini sauce and parsley are mandatory for me, so I definitely recommend giving that a shot.

We have thoroughly enjoyed this recipe – hope you do too!

makes about 20 balls,  recipe adapted from dinner with julie

1 19 oz can chick peas, rinsed and drained
1 small onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves
2 T chopped fresh parsley
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
2 t whole cumin seeds
1/4 t coarse kosher salt
1/4 t dried chili flakes
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 t baking powder

canola oil, for frying

1) Pulse chickpeas through chili flakes in a food processor until combined, but still a bit chunky.

2) Add flour and baking powder – pulse until combined, but not totally smooth (see picture below).

3) Let mixture sit for a few hours. Ideally, you would make it up the night before or the morning of the day that you will cook it for dinner.

4) Heat oil in deep fryer or skillet (leaving sufficient room from the top of the oil to the top of the pan so that you can safely add the falafels and let the oil simmer….be safe!) until it’s hot. You can test it by dropping a small amount of the mixture into the oil – it will sizzle and fry if it’s ready. The oil shouldn’t smoke.

5) While the oil is heating, form the mixture into egg shapes with two spoons, or make little patties. Whatever the shape you choose, keep them small, using about 2 T of the mix.

6) When the oil is hot, drop in the eggs/patties and fry for 4 minutes each. They will get fairly dark and crispy.

7) Remove from oil with slotted spoon and rest on paper towel.

Serve in pita as a meal or on their own with dips as a appetizer.


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