I first fell for felafel as street food while visiting Jerusalem as a kid. Way more exciting than our hotdog stands!
It’s not something I ate a lot until the past five years when we basically lived next door to an Ali Baba’s Middle Eastern takeout joint. It kind of became a go to when we didn’t feel like cooking. But then we moved. Now we still have a middle eastern takeout on the block, but we’ve had it twice and its just not the same.
I decided it was time to take the felafel into my own hands!
I’ve been working on the recipe for the past few months, but none of the homemade felafel recipes were quite right. The best starting point I found was this blog post from Just a Taste . I use her recipe for the yoghurt tahini sauce, but found the felafel mix needed less onion and garlic, more herbs and significantly more flour. Even then, the felafel was delicious but still a bit dense which made it difficult to cook through. Then Kate, my partner in blog, did a bit of research and found a post which said that you absolutely cannot use canned chickpeas for felafel as they have too much moisture. Ah ha!
I finally have it nailed – my perfect homemade felafel – using dried chickpeas.
It’s really not as daunting as you might imagine – all you need is a food processor and patience for frying. Give it a go! They’re equally delicious for dinner as for leftover lunches.
1 CUP DRIED CHICKPEAS SOAKED IN WATER OVERNIGHT – Keep them in the fridge to rehydrate, makes about 2 cups
1 BUNCH CILANTRO STALKY STEMS REMOVED
1 BUNCH FLAT LEAF PARSLEY STALKY STEMS REMOVED
2 ONIONS ROUGHLY CHOPPED
4 CLOVES GARLIC
1 TSP CUMIN – As always, it’s best if you toast and grind your own!
1 TSP SALT
2 TBSP BAKING POWDER
1/2 CUP FLOUR
OIL FOR SHALLOW FRYING – I use Canola
1 CUP PLAIN YOGHURT
JUICE OF ONE LEMON
1/3 CUP TAHINI
1 RED ONION
JUICE OF 2 LIMES
Add all the felafel ingredients – except for the Chickpeas, flour and baking powder – to a food processor and pulse until finely minced. Transfer to a large bowl.
Add the chickpeas to the food processor and pulse until roughly blended (should still have some texture).
Transfer the mix to to the bowl with the other ingredients and add the flour and stir until well mixed.
Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile, thinly slice the onion and marinate in the lime juice until softened and slightly sweet.
For the yoghurt sauce, add the yoghurt, Tahini and lemon juice to a small bowl and whisk until blended. Set aside in the fridge.
Heat oil (about an inch deep) in a large pot over medium-low heat (the felafel need to cook slowly to ensure that they cook right through).
Add the felafel mix 1 TSP at a time and fry, turning semi-frequently, until deeply browned and cooked through.
Serve with pita, shredded lettuce, pickled red onion and the yoghurt Tahini sauce.
Prep Time: 20 min (plus 1 hour to chill)
Cooking Time: 30 min
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