Turn the corner of many streets in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv and you'll find a falafel stand. These kiosks serve up sizzling falafel balls stuffed into pita bread and smothered with hummus and tehina. Although there's nothing quite like savoring fresh falafel on an Israeli street corner, you don't have to fly to Israel to sample the country's national dish. Have a ball making your own falafel with this recipe.
- 1 pound dried chickpeas (about 2-1/4 cups)
- 2 slices bread
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, minced
- 1 onion, chopped fine
- 5 to 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- oil for frying
(Make sure that an adult helps you with this recipe.)
- Clean the chickpeas by placing them in a strainer or colander and rinsing them thoroughly.
Soak the chickpeas in 8 cups cold water for 24 hours. Do not refrigerate. Drain chickpeas and set aside. (Or, substitute 6 cups of canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed.)
- Soak the bread in water. Squeeze out most of the water, leaving the bread moist.
- Grind the chickpeas in a blender or food processor until fine.
Place chickpea mixture in a large bowl.
- In a food processor or blender, grind the parsley, cilantro, onion, garlic and bread together until fine. Add the chickpeas and mix well. Add seasonings and baking soda. The mixture will be thick. Add a little water, 1/3 to 1/2 cup, so that the mixture is moist, but still holds together.
- Shape mixture into 1-inch balls.
- Deep-fry the falafel in hot oil until crisp and golden. They will float to the surface when done.
Drain well on paper towels.
- Serve your steaming falafel in a pita along with your favorite toppings, including Israeli salad, hummus, and tahina.
B'tayavon! (Enjoy your meal!)
Note: This recipe makes about 6-dozen falafel balls. The falafel can be frozen; they reheat well on a cookie sheet in the oven.
From Sephardic Israeli Cuisine by Sheilah Kaufman