This Mediterranean classic is hit and I always have shocked looks when I give out the recipe as it is so simple.  You can use either dried chickpeas or dried fava beans, the fava beans are an Egyptian style and come out a bit darker and I think a bit tastier but that could just be me.  Judge for yourself!


Falafel (both fava bean and chickpea versions)


1 cup dry chickpeas or fava beans, soaked overnight in water
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
½ cup cilantro (can substitute parsley)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1½ teaspoon salt
high heat oil (grape seed, sunflower seed or safflower)

*Use organic ingredients where possible

Thoroughly drain the chickpeas or fava beans. Place the beans in a food processor and blend for about 30 seconds. Add the garlic, cumin, baking powder, cilantro and salt. Blend for another 30 seconds or until evenly processed.

Using a deep pot or saucepan (I like a cast iron pot), fill it with 2 to 3 inches of oil. You want enough oil such that a falafel ball will sink and fully emerge itself in the oil and then have space to rise to the top. Heat the oil to about 375F. You will know you have the right temperature when you drop a little batter into the oil and it sinks to the bottom then immediately rises to the top.

Shape the bean mixture into little balls, pressing firmly toward the center and smoothing the edges out by rolling them around in your hand. Alternatively, you may use a falafel scoop maker. Drop a few balls at a time into the oil being sure not to crowd too many in there at once. Fry in batches until nicely browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Delicious when served with hummus. Enjoy!

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