Falafel is one of my favorite dishes in the world. These fried Mediterranean chick pea (we call them garbanzos in Spanish) balls are not supposed to be hard to make, but I have struggled mightily with one recipe after another, unable to get one that was crunchy outside, creamy yet nutty inside, that would hold together nicely for me in the pan.
I freely admit that I used beans from a can. I have tried and tried to make them by soaking dried chick peas. I hated the grainy texture of the few that didn’t completely disintegrate in the skillet. Using canned chick peas is a small defeat on the path to greater victory. I didn’t even riff off any particular recipe…I just combined flavors that had worked out in the past with techniques that had sort of worked out, and went for the can opener for my main ingredient.
Pedro of the “mostly vegan except when it’s not” crazy-ass diet loved them. Leandro of the “I hate garbanzos because I don’t like the way they look” declaration loved them. My unpredictable mother, Myrna, loved them. And I loved them too (and I was really the one that mattered in this pursuit of perfection). I hope you will too! This is a recipe for a small amount…so you can give them a shot if you’re new to falafel and then double the recipe once you are hooked! Click on for fabulously simple recipe….plus a quickie tahini sauce for topping
(serves 1 as main course; two as appetizer)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp oregano, dry, or 2 tsp fresh
¼ tsp coarse salt
1 Cup chick peas (garbanzos), drained
1 Tbs flour
Vegetable oil for frying
In a mortar and pestle, grind cumin, coriander, garlic, oregano and salt into a paste. Put paste in a bowl and add garbanzos and flour, mashing with a fork. Heat the oil in a skillet until rippling. Form the dough into about six balls, about 2 inches around, and flatten. Fry the falafel patties until golden (lowering heat of oil to medium after adding falafel to skillet) and getting crispy, about 3 minutes each side, then let drain on paper towels. Serve with a
Quickie Tahini Dressing (1 Tbs tahini, 1 Tbs plain yogurt, ½ tsp minced garlic, pinch salt whisked together) over salad or stuffed in a pita with salad.