Authentic Falafel

INGREDIENTS

2 cups dried chickpeas
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup fresh parsley, stems removed
3/4 cup fresh cilantro, stems removed
1 tbsp Dill Weed Leaf
1 onion, quartered
7-8 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 tsp Sea Salt, Fine
1 tbsp Black Pepper, Fine Ground
1 tsp Red Pepper Chile, Crushed (optional)
1 tbsp Cumin, Ground
1 tbsp Coriander, Ground
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp Sesame Seeds, Hulled White, toasted
Oil for frying

STEPS

A day in advance, begin soaking your chickpeas. They should soak overnight, up to 24 hours.  To soak, place the dried chickpeas in a medium bowl and add enough water to completely cover them by 1-2 inches. Stir in baking soda.  You’ll be tempted to skip this step and crack open and drain a few cans of chickpeas instead. Doing so will affect the texture of the mixture. We strongly prefer using dried chickpeas soaked overnight.

When ready to prepare, thoroughly drain chickpeas and add them and the garlic, onion, herbs, and spices to the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse 20-30 seconds at a time until the mixture is fully combined and there are not longer large pieces remaining.

Transfer to a bowl, cover tightly and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Prepare to fry your falafel. Heat a medium saucepan with about three inches of oil (we used canola) to approximately 375 degrees Fahrenheit. On our gas range, that was medium-high heat. We used a heat-safe candy thermometer to measure the temperature. If you don’t have one, watch for the oil to begin bubbling slightly before beginning to fry your falafel.

Remove the falafel mixture from the refrigerator. Stir in toasted sesame seeds and baking powder.

Using a hefty tablespoon of the mixture, form into patties approximately 1/2 inch thick. It’s easier with wet hands. Carefully place in the oil to fry, and fry until golden brown and warmed through (3-5 minutes).

Serve while warm in a pita bread with arugula, tomatoes, cucumbers and hummus or tahini sauce.

Recipe adapted from The Mediterranean Dish (www.themediterraneandish.com).