Falafel with Tahini Sauce!

From http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:P1010251_%282%29.jpg

Not my pic. I was too busy eating. 😎

Every few months I’ll have falafel at a restaurant and enjoy it immensely. Every time I say to myself: “Self? We should make this sometime!”

And then nothing happens.

I even went to the store and bought a bag of dried chickpeas. Three years ago. Been walking by them in the pantry ever since, and just never got around to using them.

A couple of weeks ago there was some sort of fair at NatureTyme and I had falafel at the food truck, really liked it and said “This time I’m really going to do it! And I did.

It was awesome.

Way better than the food truck or the restaurant.

So here it is. The falafel recipe ingredients list is mostly from Tori Avey. The instructions are mine, based on what I did and what worked and what made things easier/better.

Ingredients:

1 Pound Dried Chickpeas/Garbanzos/Cici Beans
1 Small (or 1/4 Large) Yellow Onion
1/2 Bunch Parsley
4 Cloves Garlic
1 1/2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
1 3/4 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
2 Teaspoons Cumin Seeds
1 Teaspoon Coriander Seeds
1/4 Teaspoon Black Peppercorns
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 pinch Cardamom seeds (or ground)
1.5 Quarts Peanut oil for frying

Equipment:

Food Processor
Spice Grinder or Mortar and Pestle
1 Heavy 4 Quart Pot with tight fitting lid.
1 Spider or slotted metal spoon for removing the falafel from the oil
1 Accurate thermometer that can read 350° and can be left in the pot
1 Sheet pan
1 Wire rack
1 Fire extinguisher

Directions:

The day before cooking:
  • Put the dried beans in a large bowl or pot and cover with at least 4″ of water. Leave 12-24 hours
  • Make the Tahini Sauce and refrigerate. Ideally, it should refrigerate overnight to let the flavors bloom.
Cooking day:
  • Put the wire rack in the sheet pan (used for draining).
  • Put all the dried spices into a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind to a powder.
  • Put the salt, the ground up spices, garlic, onion and beans into the food processor and pulse with the chopping blade (looks like a curved lawnmower blade) until the chunks are about the same size as dried couscous.
  • Add the flour and all the parsley and pulse until the parsley is chopped up. Don’t process too much or the falafel will be mushy.
  • Add the oil to the pot, place the thermometer in the oil and heat until 350°F
  • Take a ping-pong ball sized chunk of  falafel mixture and form into a ball then flatten between your palms to form a “flying saucer” shape.  Carefully add to the oil and cook until golden brown, to get a feel for how long it takes. Place on the wire rack to drain.
  • Wait for the oil to heat back up to 350°F then add another 4-6 balls and cook. Don’t cook too many at once or the oil will cool off and your falafel will be greasy.
  • Repeat until the mixture is gone or you have enough falafels.
  • Serve immediately with Tahini Sauce and the veggies of your choice, in a half-pita, if you like. I like it with thinly sliced onion and chopped tomato and Tahini Sauce.
  • If you don’t need all the falafel balls that night, save the uncooked mixture instead of cooking and refrigerating.

Enjoy!

Safety Note!

The fire extinguisher isn’t a joke. I would never do anything with a pot of hot oil on a stove, without a good fire extinguisher handy. When you go to buy one, think of the “knife scene” in Crocodile Dundee where he says “That’s not a knife, this is a knife!” and pulls out his giant knife.

Nobody who ever had a fire has ever said “Wow! I wish my fire extinguisher was smaller.”

Get a real one. They’re rated with number/letter combinations as xA, xBC, which relates to the size fire they can put out.

I would never have anything less than a 3A/40BC extinguisher. Sams Club has them and they’re not expensive (around $30, if I recall correctly)

 

 

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