Falafel

Total Time:
1 hr 25 min
Prep:
45 min
Inactive:
30 min
Cook:
10 min

Yield:
about 20
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • Falafel:
  • 2 cups soaked chickpeas (chickpeas need to be soaked in cold water for at least 18 hours and up to 24 hours), add more water if necessary
  • Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 or 2 serrano chiles, chopped
  • 2 green onions (white and green part) finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 3 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted and ground
  • Scant 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Piquillo Pepper Yogurt Sauce:
  • 2 cups thick Greek yogurt
  • 3 piquillo or 2 roasted red peppers
  • 1 teaspoon smoked sweet Spanish paprika
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • White Bean Hummus:
  • 3 cups white beans, cooked, or canned, drained and rinsed
  • 6 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Tomato Relish:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 4 vine-ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions
For the Falafel:

Drain the chickpeas through a colander then place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture. Chickpeas should be totally dry.

Heat 4-inches peanut or vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it reaches 330 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer.

While the oil is heating, heat the olive oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and serrano chiles and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.

Transfer the chickpeas to a food processor, add the garlic mixture, green onions, parsley, mint, cilantro, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, baking powder, salt and pepper and process until the mixture is finely ground, stopping to scrape the bowl every 30 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.

Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Form the mixture into balls the size of ping pong balls and place on a plate. Fry in batches at 330 degrees F until a pale blonde color, about 45 seconds, spooning oil over the falafel constantly. Remove with a slotted spoon to the baking sheet. Increase the heat of the oil to 350 degrees F. Return the falafel to the oil, in batches, cover the pan with a lid for 30 seconds and fry until a deep brown color, spooning the oil over the falafel constantly. Remove with a slotted spoon to baking sheet lined with paper towels, and immediately season with salt.

For the yogurt sauce:

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth; season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to a small bowl. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, covered, to allow the flavors to meld.

Variation: Substitute 2 cups feta cheese for the yogurt, and add 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley.

For the hummus:

Place beans, garlic, harissa, lemon juice, and tahini in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

For the relish:

Whisk the oil, vinegar, and smoked paprika in a small bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss. The tomatoes should be lightly dressed.

Serve falafel with yogurt sauce, hummus and relish on the side.


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