A classic snack of the Mediterranean cuisine
ingredients for about 20 pieces (cost 5€)
- 250 g dry chickpeas
- 35 g flour
- 1/3 tsp coriander
- 1/3 tsp paprika
- 1/3 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp minced peperoncino
- 1,5 tsp salt
- 1 spring onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 large bunch very fresh wild fennel, or mint, or cilantro or parsley leaves
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 50 ml water
- zest of half lemon
- EV sunflower oil for frying
The falafel habit has conquered the world. Actually, falafels are sold in every corner of the earth. Their popularity has grown even more with the raising of the vegan cuisine, as they are totally made by vegetal products.
I consider falafel, the absolute snack, I prepare them for decades and I have tried many versions of them. The only negative thing about them is that they are deep fried, I have tried to bake them in the oven, but the result was clearly inferior.
The keys to perfect falafels are:
a) The grinding of the chickpeas. Chickpeas must NOT be boiled, but just soaked and must be turned to a coarse and grainy paste and not to a fine purée
b) The freshness of the herbs. Whatever herb we use (I used wild fennel), it must be very very FRESH and also very aromatic
c) The freshness of the spices. Spices must be grinded the very LAST MOMENT in order to maintain their aromatic substances, which are very volatile.
d) The quality of frying oil. Yes I know, the frying oil is nowadays expensive but a used or bad quality frying oil will destroy our falafels. Use your frying oil 4 max 5 times. After each frying, let it cool, pass it from a sieve, discarding the solid remains and keep it in the fridge.
The night before, we put the chickpeas to soak in plenty of mineral or filtered water.
After at least 10 hours we dry them well. We put them in the blender, in batches, to turn them into a paste, as we already said.
We mince very finely the spring onion and the garlic clove, we grind the spices and we finely chop the herb leaves.
We mix all the ingredients together and we knead for a minute or two. We let the chickpea “dough” for 30 minutes to rest.
We preheat a skillet with plenty of EV sunflower oil at 180 Celsius degrees. With wet hands, we form falafels and we start frying them in batches of four or five, till golden. We put them on absorbent paper to completely remove the remaining oil.
We serve with yogurt or other similar sauce.