Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Falafel, two ways

I love chickpeas, I love cumin, so falafels are a given. I started by making this falafel recipe from Chow Vegan. I loved the taste of the falafel, but I felt that the little chickpea patties were too mushy and crumbled way too easily, making it hard to keep them in the pita sandwich. (Then again, I did use the food processor instead of mashing them with a fork, so I might be to blame for that. But who would mash all that with a fork when there’s a perfectly good food processor right there?)

I then made another recipe, this one from Bob’s Red Mill. I modified the recipe’s seasonings a bit by using fresh parsley, ¼ tsp garlic powder and ½ tsp onion flakes. I was surprised, because the yield is really small. My beef with these falafel is that they’re very, very dry, but I think that this might be normal to a certain extent. After all, if I had served them in a sandwich with a tahini or yogurt sauce, along with cucumber and tomato, it would probably have been much less noticeable. As it was, I felt like I had eaten that too recently, so I went with a delicious side of tomato and corn salad.

I’m sharing both recipes here, but I suspect the ultimate recipe might be an amalgam of the two.

Falafel (the slightly mushy kind)
1 15-oz can of chickpeas
1 small onion, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp Korean pepper (or dried red pepper flakes)
2 Tbsp flour (use all-purpose gluten-free flour if you want)
1 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375 °F.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Put them in a medium bowl and smash them with a fork (the food processor might make the resulting falafel too soft). Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Form into small balls, about 1 ½ inches in diameter and slightly flatten. Place onto an oiled baking pan.

Bake for 15 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. (Since it’s baked, only the part touching the pan will be browned and crispy; you can flip them halfway through.)

Serve with mini pita pockets, humus, tahini sauce, tomatoes, lettuce and/or cucumber.

Falafel (the dry kind)
1 cup chickpea flour
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp parsley flakes (I used fresh parsley)
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp garlic granules (I used ¼ tsp garlic powder)
¼ tsp onion powder (I used ½ tsp onion flakes)
2 tsp lemon juice
½ cup hot water
2 Tbsp oil (for frying)

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and blend thoroughly. Add the lemon juice and hot water to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes.

In a frying pan, heat oil on medium-high heat until hot. Add the falafel batter by the tablespoon and flatten slightly. Fry on both sides until golden brown. Place on paper towel to drain oil. Depending on the size of your frying pan, batter will need to be cooked in a couple batches.

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