Monday, March 30, 2009

Homemade Falafel Fest !

The recipe for these falafels is basically the recipe from the original Moosewood Cookbook, circa 1977. The biggest difference is that I used uncooked chickpeas ( instead of canned or cooked ) that had been soaked for about 36 hours. 48 hours would not have been too long to soak, so long as the water is changed now and then, and kept cool, but not in the refrigerator. The last time we made falafels I treated the chickpeas as soaking and rinsing them for the first twentyfour hours then rinsing and keeping them in a colander ( above any water )covered and not too cool, and after 48 hours most of the seeds sported adorably tiny roots on one end. I have read that sprouted beans and seeds are more digestible...that seems to be the case for me. Even the long soak for the beans used in this recipe seemed to dramatically reduce the usual gasiness I get from canned chickpeas. These are very easy to make.... the hardest part about making falafels is remembering to start your chickpea soaking ahead of time ! We didnt plan things right, so we did not have any tzatziki sauce on hand, so after Jamie fried these babies ( perfectly...not greasy at all ! ) we just stuffed them in pitas with onions, lettuce, mustard and Vegannaise.
Falafels are fantastic party food with several dips to go with them... we need to make these more often !

4 cups soaked raw chickpeas, rinsed
3 large cloves garlic, minced or microplaned
juice of 2 large lemons
3 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Spike seasoning salt ( optional )
1 3" dried chili pepper pod, crumbled ( or equivalent )
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup minced flat-leafed Italian parsley, packed
3 Tablespoons flour
extra flour for dredging
oil for frying

Combine all the above in a large bowl, and then pulse in small batches in a food processor or blender until ground up like a coarse-ish meal...not too fine, or they may get tough when cooked. Too coarse and they'll fall apart...test a little as you go and see how it holds together. The flour will help bind it when cooked. Set aside for at least 2 hours, or cover and refrigerate for several days. When ready to cook...have all your sandwich makings ready ( don't forget the tzatziki sauce ! ) make walnut-sized, slightly flattened balls of the mixture, dredge in the extra flour and deep fat fry a few at a time till golden brown...just a few minutes.

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