I have 2 very fond memories when I think about falafels. The first one was in Paris, when I was on my leap-of-faith trip alone, and someone had told me about this falafel joint that Lenny Krevitz goes to (and by God, if it's good enough for Lenny, it's good enough for the rest of us!). It was a falafel wrap, hot crispy green balls stuffed in soft peta, with some pickled veg, a slather of yoghurt and hot sauce... it was better than most dates I've ever had.
The second memory is in Jordan, a small falafel shop in Wadi Musa near Petra, and they sold hot, fresh-from-the-fryer falafels in brown paper bags, to be eaten as a snack as you walk around. They were extremely addictive, and I went to that shop twice under 12 hours.
I've tried making falafels a few times, but to no avail. But hey, 16th time is the charm, they say! This recipe will get you a for-sure crispy falafel that is soft on the inside, and wouldn't break into a zillion pieces when you fry/air-fry them, like you heart can sometimes be.
What You Need:
Dried chickpeas (not canned, not cooked, DRIED)
1 handful parsley
1 handful coriander
1 red onion, peeled
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
2 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp bicarb soda
1/4 baking powder
What You Do:
1. First of all, let's talk about the chickpeas. The main cause of failure in my past falafel-making endeavors was due to getting the chickpeas wrong. You can't use cooked or can chickpeas because they have too much water, and will therefore cause your falafels to be soggy, and they will never have the crispy gritty exterior you're looking for when you cook them. So what you need are dried chickpeas and you soak them in cold water for about 6 hours, until they double up in size. This is the correct base for falafels.
2. Drain the chickpeas, and put them in you food processor. Put all the other ingredients into the processor, season with salt (if your machine is small, you can always do this in batches and mix them all together in a large bowl), and blitz. What you're looking for is for the chickpeas to get the texture the size of cooked cous cous (kinda grainy, and not very fine).
3. From this mix, form balls slightly smaller than golf balls. If the mix doesn't seem to stick together, blitz for a few more seconds.
4. For storage, you can keep these falafels in a single layer in your Tupperware, and they will keep in your freezer for months.
5. To cook, you can either shallow fry them in a flat, non-stick pan with a little oil, or air-fry them, 180 degrees for around 20 minutes, or until golden and crispy.
6. Eat them hot! Best as just a snack with your favorite condiment, or stuff into some pita bread with some coleslaw.