Falafels are originally an Egyptian food. There are a variety of options for spices and cooking and I will offer both here. I have never really been a big fan of falafel, but my kids love them and aside from the deep fried variety, they are a great source of protein if you are vegetarian and also are filling without being high in calories. Of course once you deep fry them they become less healthy and need to be eaten in moderation. I got an air fryer for Christmas and find they cook well in the air fryer, but are not as moist as the deep fried variety, so need to be served with a dip.
The trick to making them is to not use canned chickpeas. Buy dried chickpeas and soak them overnight for the best results. Spices used should be to your taste, and I have put below an optional cardamom addition, but we did find this flavor a bit overpowering so beware.
- 1 cup dried chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper (optional)
- 1/2 chopped onion
- 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon corrianda
- 1 teaspoon cumineaten with sauces of which there are a number that go very nicely
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1-2 cloves garlic
Directions: After soaking chickpeas overnight, add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until mixture is finely ground but not paste like. Chickpeas will still be in tiny pieces. Make mixture into small balls and at this point they can be refrigerated or frozen until you are ready to cook them.
A fried falafel of about 3.5oz is about 330 calories. A baked falafel has less than 100 calories but since it is quite dry does require the addition of sauces which will, of course, add calories.
Suggested accompaniments: guacamole, Tahini sauce, hummus. I had mine with cottage cheese which tasted good. I read that hot sauce is a favorite for those who like a spicier falafel.
To cook them, either shallow fry, deep fry, bake or air fry. I air fried my first batch at 375 for 20 minutes.