Falafel are deep fried delights made of chickpeas. With a crunchy crust and soft insides, there are no words to quite describe the flavor. They have a uniqueness all their own. And are easily the best way I know to prepare chickpeas.
Using dried chickpeas is imperative to get the delightful, crunchy outer crust that makes falafel so lovable. I cannot stress how important it is. They don’t need to be cooked beforehand, but do need to be soaked overnight. Canned chickpeas won’t give you the same results. The texture will be off and chances are they will disintegrate down to nothing in the oil. Take it from one who found out the hard way, more than once. I’m persistent, if nothing else.
The skillet flatbreads are easily the best I’ve ever had. I cannot rave enough about them. Soft and fluffy with great flavor, they are well worth the little bit of extra work it takes to make them. They easily elevate the falafel to tasty new heights.
My family likes to eat their falafel with tzatziki sauce. In the words of my father “the sauce really makes it.” It ties everything together. I like tzatziki and tahini sauce so I’ve included both recipes.
- Soak chickpeas overnight in a large bowl with enough bottled water to reach 2 inches above top of chickpeas. Drain and rinse.
- Add chickpeas to a food processor with parsley, flour, coriander, cumin, garlic, onions, and cayenne. Pulse mixture until it is well combined yet still coarse in texture. Season with salt and cayenne and pulse to combine. Chill in freezer for 20 minutes. Use a spoon to portion the mixture into 1-2 tablespoon-sized balls.
- Pour oil into a 6-qt. pot to a depth of 2? and heat over medium-high heat until a thermometer reads 350? F. Fry falafel in batches turning occasionally, until they float and turn golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer falafel to a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet.
- Serve in warm flat or pita bread with shredded lettuce, tzatziki or tahini sauce.
- Pulse all ingredients together in a food processor until smooth, season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep refrigerated.
- Place garlic paste in a small bowl and add the tahini, parsley, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup ice water. Whisk until sauce is creamy; season with salt.
Adapted from Saveur
- Stir together the yeast and 1¼ cups water heated to 115° in a small bowl, and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.
- Whisk flour, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl then add yeast with oil and stir until a dough forms.Transfer to a floured work surface and knead until smooth, 6–8 minutes. Transfer to a lightly floured bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let sit until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
- Punch down dough and divide into 8 equal pieces, knead each into a ball. Place balls on a floured surface and cover with plastic wrap, allow to sit for 30 minutes.
- Heat a 12? cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Working with 1 ball of dough at a time, transfer to a work surface and roll into a 6-7? circle. Brush with oil and add to skillet, oiled side down then brush top with oil. Cook, turning once, until browned and cooked through, 2–3 minutes.
Adapted from Saveur