One thing that has always struck me though is how hit and miss they can be. So I undertook the job of making them for myself to figure out why that is.
I decided to make it from another recipe posted here.
However I experimented with this to include a mexican style salsa verde, lettuce, hummus, tahini and chili.
- 1 cup dried chickpeas or 16 oz. can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans.
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 3 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Oil for frying
- fresh tomatoes
- iceberg lettuce
- chilli (adapt number for heat, mine's very hot)
Drained them off:
And stuck them in a pot to boil for 5 minutes then simmer for 40 mins, since these are tinned you don't have to boil for the full hour.
Now to make the salsa verde:
I wanted to use a fresh tomato base so I used a trick I've seen on tv where you stick the tomato in boiling water for 30 seconds and the skin comes right off. Then mashed it up into a pulp and removed the excess.
Then I added olive oil, balsamic, lime juice, salt, pepper, garlic, coriander, parsley, 3 Serrano chilli peppers and onion very finely julienned then diced. Mix that all together in a bowl and then leave to one side.
Now that was done it was time to enjoy my wine and admire the state I had left the kitchen in.
Now I just had to cut up some tomatoes and lettuce, spread the tahini hummus mix inside the pita and add the veggies, don't add the salsa until the last minute or it'll go soggy and crap.
Now for the bit I had been waiting to try, the actual falafel.
Get the chickpeas and drain them. Then cut up 3 tablespoons of parsley and 1 tablespoon of coriander.
In a bowl add the chickpeas, cumin, coriander, parsley, salt, pepper and flour.
I mashed it up with a fork until it took on a consistency not dissimilar to pastry dough.
Now you can add water here if you like to get it a bit more pliable, but I didn't because I'm not a retard. Voila, falafel.
Get at least an inch deep of oil going in the pan, I used veg oil as it'll go to higher temperatures before it smokes. Get it super hot, then dump your balls in it.
Leave them sit for a while until they're sealed and the oil stops going mental, then roll them around until they're done all over, then remove your balls from the piping hot oil.
Then add them to the pita, and mash them down for ultimate crunchy/soft contrast and enjoy one of the best sandwiches you will ever make.
The recipe on about.com makes approx 6 falafels.
The parsley and cumin are both essential, it really gives it the overall middleastern flavour.
My falafels came out perfectly crispy and tasty, I didn't get an answer to why some you get on the street or at festivals are shit except that maybe they're buying in crap ingredients or more likely, reheating pre cooked balls.