Falafel comes traditionally from Arab cuisine, but it was turned into a type of fast food, much healthier than burgers and other fritters, by the Israeli who found a way to make falafel portable, by stuffing small falafel balls into a pita. The chickpea falafel was also made famous by Israeli cooks, as other, more traditional types, were made with other legumes, such as Fava beans.
Now that we are done with this little piece of history on falafel let’s get down to business and make together some delicious falafel. I love this recipe because it satisfies my cravings for fried foods, while still being healthy at the same time. Without further ado, here is how I make falafel.
– 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (grape seed oil was traditionally used, but sunflower oil will do just fine)
– 1 chopped onion
– 1 crushed garlic clove
– One can of chickpea
– 1 tablespoon of curmin
– Mixed herbs: parsley, coriander, and others you may like
– 1 egg (beaten)
The ‘how-to’ part:
Pour one tablespoon of oil into a pan, and use it to fry the chopped onion and crushed garlic. This way the aromas from these ingredients will infuse the oil, and they will become softer, too. Wash the canned chickpeas and drain them and then mix them with all the spices, making sure to mash them slowly until they become like a puree. Add the beaten egg, and then make the mixture even more consistent.
Now add the herbs and season with salt and other spices you may like, such as pepper. It all depends on taste; if you like your falafel to be spicier, it is alright to make it so. After you have this mix ready, take parts of it and forms small balls.
One way of making falafel is by flattening the balls formed from the mix into small patties. Now use the remaining oil to fry these patties. The frying process should not take too long. Use medium heat and cook the patties for just 3 minutes on each side. You will know they are ready when you notice them becoming that delicious golden brown they are known for.
Have your falafel patties with a pita, to serve it fast food style. If you have, spread some hummus on the pita first, then fill it with the falafel patties, sliced tomatoes, salad, and pickles. You will enjoy the taste, and you will have a meat-free type of fast food to enjoy.
Traditionally, falafel is served on a plate with hummus and tahini sauce, a combination that is called a falafel plate to begin with. However, if you don’t have the side dishes readily available, it’s not a big issue, since falafel is one of those foods you can enjoy with a large variety of foods on the side.