Daniel and I have been wanting to try to make our own falafel ever since we went out to eat at a local falafel restaurant. I finally conquered my fears and made some. It was delicious! And although it did take some time to fry it all up, it was relatively quick to put together. I was so pleased with how it turned out. I copied and pasted this recipe and directions with no changes, from The Shiksa but the photo is mine. She has lots of great ideas for variations and also how to eat it. It was very helpful and detailed. Check it out!
Falafel (Traditional Recipe)
1 pound (about 2 cups) dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3-5 cloves garlic (I prefer roasted)
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1 3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Pinch of ground cardamom
Vegetable oil for frying (grapeseed, canola, and peanut oil work well)
Pour the chickpeas into a large bowl and cover them by about 3 inches of
cold water. Let them soak overnight. They will double in size as they
soak – you will have between 4 and 5 cups of beans after soaking.
Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans well. Pour them into your food
processor along with the chopped onion, garlic cloves, parsley, flour,
salt, cumin, ground coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and
Pulse all ingredients together until a rough, coarse meal forms. Scrape
the sides of the processor periodically and push the mixture down the
sides. Process till the mixture is somewhere between the texture of
couscous and a paste. You want the mixture to hold together, and a more
paste-like consistency will help with that... but don't overprocess, you
don't want it turning into hummus!
Once the mixture reaches the desired consistency, pour it out into a
bowl and use a fork to stir; this will make the texture more even
throughout. Remove any large chickpea chunks that the processor missed.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
Note: Some people like to add baking soda to the
mix to lighten up the texture inside of the falafel balls. I don’t
usually add it, since the falafel is generally pretty fluffy on its own.
If you would like to add it, dissolve 2 tsp of baking soda in 1 tbsp of
water and mix it into the falafel mixture after it has been
Fill a skillet with vegetable oil to a depth of 1
½ inches. I prefer to use cooking oil with a high smoke point, like
grapeseed. Heat the oil slowly over medium heat. Meanwhile, form falafel
mixture into round balls or slider-shaped patties using wet hands or a
falafel scoop. I usually use about 2 tbsp of mixture per falafel. You
can make them smaller or larger depending on your personal preference.
The balls will stick together loosely at first, but will bind nicely
once they begin to fry.
Note: if the balls won't hold together, place
the mixture back in the processor again and continue processing to make
it more paste-like. Keep in mind that the balls will be delicate at
first; if you can get them into the hot oil, they will bind together and
stick. If they still won't hold together, you can try adding 2-3 tbsp
of flour to the mixture. If they still won't hold, add 1-2 eggs to the
mix. This should fix any issues you are having.
Before frying my first batch of falafel, I like to fry a test one in the
center of the pan. If the oil is at the right temperature, it will take
2-3 minutes per side to brown (5-6 minutes total). If it browns faster
than that, your oil is too hot and your falafels will not be fully
cooked in the center. Cool the oil down slightly and try again. When the
oil is at the right temperature, fry the falafels in batches of 5-6 at a
time till golden brown on both sides.
Once the falafels are fried, remove them from the oil using a slotted spoon. Set on a paper towel to dry.
Monday, December 2, 2013
Vegetarian Quinoa Chili
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
2-3 tablespoons chili powder, depending on your taste (we used 3)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Optional toppings: green onions, avocado slices, cheese, sour cream, Greek yogurt, chips, crackers, etc.
Add all ingredients except for quinoa into crockpot. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. When time is almost up, cook the quinoa. In a medium sauce pan, combine the quinoa and water. Cook over medium heat until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Add to chili. Stir, and serve. Garnish the chili with green onions, avocado slices, cheese, sour cream/Greek yogurt, chips, crackers, if desired. This chili freezes well.