During my study abroad days, shawarmas and falafels were the easiest, most convenient and affordable meals we could get. That’s where my love for Falafels started from. If you are unfamiliar with falafels, they are fried kebabs – but instead of using minced meat or boiled potatoes – it’s made with boiled and soaked chickpeas, herbs and spices.
These falafels, turn out to be a great and versatile snack. Although, a bit heavy for a snack – these falafels can be wholesome meal and used in wraps, sandwiches and as shawarmas filling.
Soaked Chickpeas vs Canned Chickpeas
To work with fresh chickpeas, simply soak them in water and with baking soda overnight or for 24 hours. If you really have to be quick and have guests coming over with no alternate- canned chickpeas would still give you a good enough Falafel, but I would highly recommend using Fresh Chickpeas.
Do you really have to plan a day ahead?
Unfortunately, yes you do. A bit more than a day in advance actually. It’s best to keep the mixture ready and use it the next day so all the flavor gets really soaked in – giving the most flavorful falafels.
If you are using fresh chickpeas which you should, you would need to plan two days ahead, cause you would need soak them and boil them prior to using.
But it’s just the days! The effort for each day is very limited, I am guessing only 20 minutes a day and you are done. You get these gorgeous falafels, which can be stored in the fridge or freezer and used for days to come. You would just need to keep them outside to thaw (if they are in the freezer).
Freezer Friendly Recipe
You definitely can make these Falafels ahead of time, and freeze them in the freezer and use them as per use. To use them, simply put them in the refrigerator a night or few hours prior to use. If not, simply let them thaw outside. Once they are back to their normal consistency, fry them prior to use and you will not feel any difference.
What herbs can I use?
You may use any herbs ranging from dill to cilantro. I added Parsley in mixture which give it a lot more depth, freshness and flavor. These 3 herbs are definitely key to this recipe. However, it’s fine if you don’t have 1 of them with you. But make sure to use at least 2 out of 3 herbs mentioned to meet the required flavor and authenticity.
Tips to make Great Falafels
1. Chill the Falafel Mixture: This is very important – it would really help in binding your falafels. It’s best to chill them overnight to get all the flavors right. If you are in a hurry, two hours is bare minimum. 2. Soaked Chickpeas: I can’t stress on this enough. Use overnight soaked chickpeas for the perfect consistency and texture. Using canned chickpeas, would require breading of these falafels using bread crumbs. 3. Frying: Ensure, the oil is heated properly and has reached the frying temperature. Also don’t overcrowd the frying pan, fry these in batches.
- Frying Pan
- Measuring Cups & Spoons
- Food Processor/Blender
- 1 cup Soaked Chickpeas
- ½ cup Bread Crumbs (if using Cooked or Canned Chickpeas to bind better)
- ¼ tsp Baking Soda
- ½ cup Fresh Parsley (stems removed)
- ⅓ cup Fresh Cilantro or Coriander Leaves (stems removed)
- ¼ cup Fresh Dill (stems removed)
- ½ Small Onion (roughly chopped)
- 4-5 cloves of Garlic
- Salt to Taste
- ½ tbsp Black Pepper
- ½ tbsp Cumin Powder
- 1 tbsp Red Chili Powder or Cayenne Pepper
- ½ tbsp Coriander Powder
- Oil for Frying
- Start by soaking your chickpeas overnight. To do that, add chickpeas to a bowl, covered with water and baking soda. Let it soak overnight, post which rinse and dry, once ready to use.
- In a food processor, add all the listed ingredients (except for the bread crumbs and oil) and mix until combine. Once combined, keep the mixture in the refrigerator for 2 hour minimum or preferably overnight. The longer you keep it for, the more flavorful it would be.
- If you have used canned or cooked chickpeas, your mixture would be more wet, for which you would need to bind and coat them with Bread Crumbs, else Falafels would end up crumbling while frying.
- For soaked chickpeas, simply combine the mixture tightly to form these patties.
- Heat the oil at this point, and have it ready for frying. Once hot, fry the falafels until done. They should be brown from the outside and green from the inside. You may double fry your Falafels as well to retain crispiness.
- Once done, let it cool on a Wire Rack, prior to cutting into slices. Keep the cake covered in a cool and dry place.
Someone once rightly said “a recipe has no soul, you must bring soul to the recipe”, so here I am, trying to bring my passion for food into easy to make recipes from around the world.
My name is Sohail Nath and I welcome you to my happy place, @boy.eatsworld.
This blog, my creativity’s nest covers travel inspirations, authentic yet homemade recipe and food blogs.