On campus, there is the most amazing Lebanese food cart. Everything about it is amazing. My SO and I would eat there almost every day that we had class. We’ve since graduated, received our degrees, and now there is far too little Basha’s in our lives. I had to be over that way to meet someone anyway a few Fridays back, and so we stopped by the cart. We were missed! “Where have you been?? What are you doing now? How’s your family?” All the typical question. We ordered curry fries and falafel. They make the best falafel ever. My SO wants them more often than we usually get. You can imagine my excitement and his when I found this recipe for authentic falafel.
Falafels are a chickpea ball with a whole mess of seasonings. They’re put on flat bread or in pitas to make sandwiches. We enjoy them by themselves slathered in Basha’s curry sauce. Mmmm, it’s amazing. You can even put them in salad if you’d like. Really, there’s not wrong way to enjoy a falafel… unless you’re not enjoying it. That would be sad.
These falafels are naturally gluten free. If you’re going to make a sandwich with them, make sure to grab gluten free pita or flatbread. How do you make a falafel sandwich? Well, you need your pita, falafels, shredded iceberg or romaine lettuce, 2 slices of tomatoes, 4 slices of pickles, a whole mess of sliced red onion. For a sauce you can use ketchup (please don’t!), hot sauce of your choosing, or tzatziki. YUM. It’s amazing, y’all.
Thanks to Meg at Beard and Bonnet for this AMAZING recipe!
- 2 cups dried chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seed
- 1 teaspoon whole coriander seed
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
- Zest of 1 lemon
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 1½ teaspoons Kosher salt, plus more for seasoning after cooking
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- grape seed oil for frying
- Place chickpeas in a large bowl and fill with water to cover them to a depth of 3 inches. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave on counter for 24 hours. The chickpeas will triple in size and absorb quite a bit of the water so check a few times during soaking to see if you need to add more water.Once the beans have soaked for 24 hours, drain and rinse well.
- Place the cumin and coriander seeds in an 8-inch cast-iron skillet and set over medium high heat. Cook, shaking the pan frequently, until the seeds give off an aroma and just begin to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the toasted spices to a spice grinder and process until finely ground. Set aside.
- Place the drained chickpeas, ground spices, garlic, onion, cilantro, and parsley into a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine then feed through the meat grinder in small batches until everything has been ground.
- Mix the lemon zest, cayenne, salt, and black pepper into the ground chickpeas then roll a small amount of the mixture into a walnut sized ball or a small patty with your hands. The mixture should hold together nicely and not fall apart.
- Continue rolling the rest of the batter into uniform size balls or patties so that they will cook in the same amount of time. I used a small ice cream scoop and had falafels that were about the size of golf balls. Place the uncooked falafel on a large plate or baking sheet until ready to cook.
- Pour oil in a Dutch oven or a large, high-sided skillet to a depth of 2-3 inches, enough to cover the falafel. Place a thermometer into the oil and heat over med-high heat until the temperature reaches 360° – 375° F.
- While the oil is heating place a flattened paper grocery bag onto a baking sheet and cover with a few clean paper towels. This will help to collect the oil as it drains off of your falafel.
- When the oil is to temp fry a test falafel. The oil should bubble up and sizzle all around it. The falafel itself should stay together in one piece and not break apart at all. It should take 2 – 3 minutes to fry to a beautiful golden brown. If your falafel is not completely submerged flip and cook the other side until it’s nice and browned all over. Remove the cooked falafel from the oil and drain on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt while the falafel is still hot. Fry the remaining falafel in batches, being careful to not over crowd the pan and drop the temp of the oil.
For more delicious and authentic recipes along with step-by-step photos, visit Beard and Bonne