falafel

mm.jpgIt looks like we’re just in time for this month’s Monthly Mingle. Without even checking my reader about this month’s theme, I decided to whip up this yummy Middle-Eastern dish.

Falafel are nothing more than chickpea fritters seasoned with aromatics and spices, formed into balls, and fried until golden brown and delicious. While I’ve snacked on falafel numerous times in the past, this is the first time I have ever made them from scratch. It surprised me how easy they were to prepare and how much better they seemed to taste than the local pita shack. Maybe it was the extra garlic or maybe it was the hot sauce or maybe it was just me being excited to see all the leftovers I had when I was done, these golden-fried fritters were good.

I served these up with a big plate of toppings: lettuce, hummus, yogurt, feta, pickles, and hot sauce. We had some whole wheat pita on the side and we stuffed our own pockets. Even after I ate what seemed like 20 pockets, there were still plenty of leftovers for the next day (and the next).

These guys were pretty easy to put together and cook. The only real difficulties I had was forming them into balls. I tried to make large patties and found out quickly that it just wouldn’t work out. As long as you make small balls, frying them should be easy and they won’t fall apart. The recipe makes a large number of one to two inch fritters but they hold in the fridge for at least a week and make for great leftovers.
Falafel

2 cups dried garbanzo beans
handful of parsley
5-10 cloves of garlic
½ an onion
ground cumin
ground coriander
red pepper
salt and pepper

Cover the garbanzo beans with plenty of water and soak for 24 hours. The beans will expand so make sure you use plenty of water.

Drain bean and place in food processor fitted with metal blade. Add garlic, parsley and onion and process to a fine consistency. You may need to do this in several stages, just combine everything together in the end.

Season mixture with spices to taste.

Cover, refrigerate, and let flavors develop for at least an hour and no more than four hours.

Form into one to two inch balls and fry them in and inch of oil until golden brown.