If you ask me what is one of my favourite vegetarian snacks, I will definitely pick falafel. I love them with hummus or tahini, and I make them very often in my house. As opposed to what it might seem, making falafels is actually very easy. It involves some very basic ingredients and chances are high that you have all of them in your pantry right now. The best kind of falafels are ones that are crispy on the outside and delicious and moist on the inside. It does not crumble and tastes absolutely delicious!
This is my Falafel recipe that is spot on and absolutely full proof. It is also the most basic, as I have only used ingredients that are easily available to most of us. Falafels are naturally gluten-free and can be made vegan like this version. You can enjoy them with pita bread, in sandwiches or just as a healthy snack. The process of making it is extremely simple as it combines soaked chickpeas with herbs and basic spices, blending it all together and frying or baking them.
Making the perfect falafel every single time
Even though the process of making falafel is fairly simple, following some tips will give you the best results every single time. Because we make a mixture that is fried or baked, it is important that the consistency is perfect. A mixture that is too wet or too dry will not give the desired results. Here are some of the things I do when making falafels.
Soak the chickpeas
Falafels are made with soaked chickpeas. Make sure you soak your chickpeas for at least 12-15 hours. The best way is to soak them at night and then make them in the morning. Their volume should double up by morning. Make sure you soak them in enough water so that the chickpeas submerge in it. In the morning, drain the water and wash the chickpeas and they are ready to be ground with the rest of the herbs and spices.
Look our for the consistency
Falafels are made by pulsing soaked chickpeas with herbs and spices. The excess moisture from the pulsed mixture is soaked by besan or gram flour. The consistency needs to be absolutely perfect so that the balls do not break, crumble or stick to the pan while frying. The mixture cannot be too wet or too dry. It needs to be pulsed in multiple rounds until you get a sand-like coarse structure. Over blending it will make it runny and it will disintegrate while frying.
Freeze before frying/baking
This step is absolutely essential to get the perfectly crisp and flaky falafel. Once the chickpeas are pulsed with the rest of the ingredients, let the mixture rest in the fridge for at least an hour. The mixture also needs to be kept covered so that its moisture does not release. You can also freeze the mixture for four to five days in an airtight jar. You can take it out as and when you like some falafels. But the minimum time is 30 minutes to one hour.
Here’s the recipe:
Preparation time – 15 minutes
Cook time – 10 minutes
Makes – 8 falafels
- 1 cup soaked chickpeas
- 1 cup fresh coriander leaves (with stems)
- 1 cup onion, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder/paprika
- 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
- Salt to taste (I used 1 tsp)
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground cumin powder
- 4 tbsp gram flour/besan
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 green chilli
- 4 tbsp oil (for shallow frying
- Soak chickpeas in water overnight. Wash and drain them in the morning.
- In a small mixer or a food processor, add the chickpeas, coriander, onion, garlic, salt, cumin powder, red chilli powder, chilli and garlic.
- Grind/pulse it in parts till you get a coarse sand-like texture. Do not over blend.
- Transfer the chickpea mixture to a bowl. Add the gram flour (besan) and baking soda. Mix well.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- Take the mixture out of the fridge. See the consistency. If it is too dry, add some lemon juice. If it is too wet, add some more gram flour.
- Make balls or patties with your hand or an ice cream scooper. The mixture should not stick to your hand.
- Heat oil in a wok. This recipe shallow fries the falafels. If you want to deep fry, you can add a lot more oil.
- Keep the heat at low to medium so that the falafels do not burn or remain unevenly cooked. Add the balls gently. Fry on low flame till all sides turn crunchy.
- Serve hot with hummus or pita bread along with pickles.