Learning new recipes opens up a wide variety of opportunities. You can use food as a vessel for plenty of ideas. This includes everything from giving your tools like a brand new appliance or better your grill skills to maximize flavor. If you aren’t sure where to go next on your culinary journey, you can lean towards something like a traditional falafel recipe!
Falafel is a dish made with deep-fried fava beans, chickpeas, or a mixture of the two in a patty or ball shape. When served, it’s primarily eaten in a pita or wrapped up in a flatbread but the dish is served in a variety of ways non-traditionally. Here, we’ll take a look at how you can make it perfectly, according to a secret traditional falafel recipe.
What You Need to Make The Secret Traditional Falafel Recipe
Before you start, you should gather all the ingredients you’ll need for your falafel. The good news is that falafel doesn’t take many ingredients, so it’s a shortlist to have at the ready:
- Chickpeas (either dried or soaked, not canned)
- Chickpea flour (alternatively, gluten-free flour blend is fine)
- Onion (yellow for the strongest flavor or red or white)
- Parsley or cilantro
- Serrano peppers
- Baking soda
- Frying oil (use an oil that is suitable for high heat like avocado oil)
Preparing Your Chickpeas for Use
After you have your ingredients gathered, you can start the necessary prep work for your falafel.
The first thing to do is to handle the preparation for your chickpeas. If you’re using dried chickpeas, you’ll need to take the time to soak them which is a great step to do the night before or the morning of.
To start preparing them, put your dried chickpeas to soak in water. Remember, you’ll need to add plenty of water to the bowl with the chickpeas because they’re going to expand in the water. Without enough water, you won’t properly hydrate them. You should leave them in the water for 8 to 12 hours or even overnight if that’s simpler.
Preparing Your Other Falafel Ingredients
Once you have your chickpeas at the ready, you’ll want to pull out your food processor. Even though you’re using a food processor, it can be helpful to take the time to chop a few ingredients beforehand including the onion, pepper, and herbs.
After everything is ready, you can put the chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, serrano pepper, garlic, and spices in the food processor.
When you’re using the food processor, you should just pulse it without completely blending the mixture. It’ll be ready when the mixture is closer to the texture of sand rather than totally blended.
Adding the Final Ingredients
Once the mixture is done in the food processor, you should transfer it to a bowl. Now, you can add your other ingredients such as chickpea flour and baking soda. This needs to be mixed into the mixture from the last step completely before moving forward.
The final mixture can’t move to the next step right away, though. You’ll have to put it aside to set and the best way to do this is to put it in the fridge but make sure to add a lid or cover the bowl with plastic wrap first.
It takes much less time for this mixture to set compared to the initial step with the chickpeas. You’re just preparing this mixture so that you can shape it later on. For this, it will only need to chill in the fridge for about half an hour or up to an hour.
Shaping the Falafel
There are a few different ways that you can shape falafel but the traditional choice is in balls. You can do this by hand if you don’t want to pull out any extra equipment or you could use something as simple as a cookie dough scoop or as specialized as a falafel scoop.
If you plan on using a patty shape, you can simply flatten these balls before cooking them. Patties are a great choice for falafels if you plan on pan-frying or baking them rather than deep-frying them which falafel balls are better suited to.
Ways to Cook Falafel
There are a few different ways that you can cook your falafels, as we’ve touched on. You can bake, pan-fry, or deep fry them.
To bake your falafels, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the falafels on a baking sheet and be sure to brush the tops of each one with oil. Then, just let them bake for 30 minutes, turning them halfway through.
If you’d rather pan-fry the falafel, start by putting a couple of tablespoons of oil in the pan. Heat it on medium-high heat and cook each side of the falafel for two to three minutes. Finally, transport them to a paper towel-lined plate.
To deep-fry your falafel, you should heat about three inches of oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook each of them for one or two minutes but mostly look out for them to take on a golden-brown tone. Don’t put more than six to eight falafels in your deep fryer at once.