Falafel has a rich and varied history in the Middle East. While no one seems to be sure exactly where it originated, some believe that it was a meal used by Copts as a replacement of meat during Lent. These fried balls of chickpea mixture are typically served on pita bread topped with Tahini based sauces, onions, peppers, pickles, and much more.
This recipe has always been a hit in our home! Give it a try and let us know what you think!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
For the Falafel:
1 cup uncooked chickpeas
2 tbsp chopped ginger
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp parsley
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp salt
1/2 black pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp all-purpose flower
For the Cucumber Sauce:
1/2 cup grated cucumber
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp salt
For Yogurt-Tahini Sauce:
2 tbsp tahini
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 tsp lemon juice
pinch of paprika
Instructions – For the Falafel:
Soak the chickpeas in water for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight. Drain the water.
Place the soaked chickpeas and the 3 cups of water, along with 1 teaspoon of salt, into a pressure cooker on Medium-High heat for 20 minutes. Chickpeas should be done when they are soft to the touch.
Drain the excess water from the pressure cooker to a jar. This can be saved for use as a stock for a soup or stew.
Put the chickpeas, parsley, and cilantro into a mixer and pulse until minced. Empty the chickpeas into a large bowl and combine with ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, olive oil, and 1 tbsp of all-purpose flour. Mix thoroughly until consistency is good for shaping into patties. Add another tablespoon of all-purpose flour if desired consistency is not reached.
Shape into 1 inch patties. Mixture should make approximately 14 patties.
Bring oil in a deep pot to a temperature of 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Take one patty and place into oil to test for dough consistency and oil temperature. Fry the remaining patties in small batches (3 at a time) for approximately 2-3 minutes per batch. Falafel should have a golden brown color when done. Place batches into a bowl lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil.
Serve in pita bread, a lettuce leaf, or on rice. We usually eat ours on lettuce leaf with Tahini-Yogurt and Cucumber sauce, sprinkled with onions, tomatoes, and hot peppers to give it some kick!
Instructions – For the Cucumber Sauce:
Drain excess water from grated cucumber by squeezing water out with your hands. Mix all of the ingredients for the Cucumber Sauce into a bowl. Taste and add further salt/pepper to taste.
Instructions – For the Yogurt-Tahini Sauce:
In a bowl, thoroughly mix the Tahini, yogurt, and lemon juice. Smooth out the mixture in the bowl and sprinkle on top with paprika.