Before I went to a culinary school, I’ve been using dried mixes for my home-made falafel. Chef J got us one of authentic recipes for the class. We made it, and the whole school came to taste our falafel — the best I ever had. I remember other chef-instructors couldn’t believe it was truly vegan and gluten-free, with no wheat flour added to the mix.

In Austin, you can buy small amounts of tahini paste in bulk sections of Central Market or Whole Foods (downtown location), just enough for the recipe. Another solution is to make your own. For 3 tablespoons of tahini, use can mortar and pestle. Mix 2 tablespoons white hulled sesame seeds with 1 teaspoon of kosher (flaky) salt and make a paste. Than mix 1 tablespoon of aromatic sesame oil into the paste. Voila!

Buy freshly ground spices for this recipe or, if you store your spices whole to preserve their flavor, dry-roast and grind them yourself.

Falafel can be served alone and is often accompanied by hummus, baba ghannouj, fresh pita bread, fries, and a salad. Joan Nathan writes: “To garnish your falafel in true Israeli style, try adding one or several of the following condiments: harissa hot sauce, pickled turnip (both also available at www.ethnicgrocer.com), mango amba (pickle), or sauerkraut.” My favorite way to serve falafel is with fresh cucumber sauce. I dice cucumbers, chop herbs, add spices and salt and mix it with yogurt.” What you see on my picture is exactly the same simple sauce.

Falafel

Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: dip, legume, lycooking, lyukum cooking lab, recipe
Servings: 18 1.5"D balls
Calories: 31kcal

Ingredients

main

  • 200 g chickpeas dry
  • 100 g onion white sweet, chopped
  • 4 tsp garlic chopped
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds white hulled
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp parsley fresh, chopped
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice

spices

  • 1 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper corns
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Instructions

  • Soak dry chickpeas for at least 12 hours. The volume of chickpeas will increase twice.
  • Dry roast and grind the spices. Peel and chop onions and garlic. Make tahini paste.
  • In a bowl of food processor (multi-purpose blade) combine soaked chickpeas, tahini, onion, garlic, spices (and salt if you used store-bought tahini and ground spices). Add freshly squeezed lemon juice and pulse to make a thick paste. You will need to stop 2-3 times, open a lid to scrape the bowl. Taste it and correct it to your taste.
  • Chop parsley and mix it into the falafel paste. I intentionally separated it, because people tend to add it to the bowl with other ingredients and falafel becomes green.
  • Heat the oil to 375F/190C. Form the balls. I use a measuring scoop and dry (not oiled) hands. It takes 4-5 minutes to deep fry a batch of 9 in my Waring Mini Deep Fryer. Falafel is cooked when it reaches deep golden-brown color.

Notes

Substitute 2 tbsp sesame seeds + 1 tbsp sesame oil with 2 tbsp tahini paste.
Substitute whole spices with freshly ground:
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp groung cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
I am often asked what deep fryer I use at home. When cooking for 3-4 people, Waring Mini Deep Fryer is pretty good.
For frying falafel on a skillet with less oil, form patties.

Nutrition

Calories: 31kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 22mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.4g

Falafel