Who can resist a good falafel? Wonderful for snacks, meals, in wraps or topping salads, they are wonderfully tasty, textural and healthy. Whip them up using chickpeas you have previously cooked and frozen, for an easy supper.
Home made falafel are a huge cut above store-bought ones, or even those from some restaurants that must purchase them in bulk and keep them frozen for a long time. One has to wonder why, they are so easy to make, whereas many pre-prepared ones taste like cardboard. Who hasn’t had a wrap or roll with cardboard-tasting falafel stuffed into them for a “vegetarian option” when it would have been more flavoursome to leave them out?
Worry no more, we have your back. These are fantastic. Crispy crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. You can grind the chickpeas coarsely or more finely, which ever is your preference. But they must be ground enough to hold together as fritters.
You might like to also try hummus, which goes well with falafel. Chickpeas make a whole range of dishes. Try Chickpea Fingers, for example (it uses chickpea flour). Or Chickpea “Tabblouleh”. Chickpeas can be baked, or made into a spread, or smashed and made into a salad. They are really healthy – have a look at this article.
Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series of vegetarian recipes from our first blog which ran from 1995 – 2005. You might also like our Middle Eastern recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Chickpea recipes here and here. Check out our easy Mid Spring recipes here.
This recipe has its genesis in Middle Eastern Vegetarian Dishes by – my copy is a an ancient one, but it has been re-released in recent years.
Ta’amia | Falafel | Spicy Middle Eastern Chickpea Patties or Balls
450 g cooked chickpeas
100 ml water
1 Tblspn besan (chickpea flour)
1 tspn salt
0.5 tspn black pepper
0.5 tspn turmeric
2 Tblspns chopped fresh coriander leaves
0.25 tspn ground cumin
0.25 tspn cayenne pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 Tblspn tahini paste or olive oil
50 g fresh white breadcrumbs
50 g flour
vegetable oil for frying
Mince or grind the chickpeas well and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the water, besan, salt and pepper, turmeric, coriander leaves, cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic, tahini or olive oil, and breadcrumbs.
With your hands, combine all the ingredients into a soft, but firm mixture. Form the mixture into 2.5 cm balls or patties, flattening slightly between your palms and coat them with flour.
If they are not holding together well, add a little plain flour or a little more chickpea flour.
Heat the oil in a large pan until hot (a small piece of stale bread dropped into the oil browns in about 50 seconds). Put the balls or patties about 5 or 6 at a time into the oil and fry for 2 or 3 minutes on each side (or deep fry) until lightly browned. Remove them as soon as they are cooked and drain well on kitchen paper. Serve hot.
I like to use 2 soup spoons to flip them over as they cook – it works better than other kitchen implements.
The mixture handles better if you can leave it sit for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.
Eat this with..
a great salad or two, like Moroccan Carrot Salad, or Green Olive, Walnut, Pistachio and Pomegranate Salad, and a yoghurt dish, like Green Peppers in Yoghurt, Haydari or Cucumber Cacik. A tahini sauce is good, too, like Tahina Tarator or Hummus.
browse some of the Middle Eastern recipes
- Spicy Rustic Red Lentil Soup with Thick Thick Yoghurt
- Tahina Tarator (Tahini Spread)
- Thick Yoghurt Tahina Dip with Herbs
- Zahtar and Dukkah
- Watermelon with Haloumi