Falafel is one the most favourite fast foods in the Middle East. Falafel is an Arabic word,and plural ‘ filfil’ meaning “pepper”. Falafel is a meatless food and good source of protein and suitable for vegetarians.
Originally it is spicy but in any country it has adjusted based on the taste of people. Falafel is made of chickpeas or fava beans. Egyptians make falafe with fava beans and sometimes with combination of both. But if you make with chickpeas, they should be soaked and then should be ground up or mashed and mix with beautiful spices and vegetables such as onions, garlic parsley.
Falafe serves with flat bread ( Naan ), pita bread, or Budget bread and garnished with different things such as tomato, cucumber, lettuce, fresh herbs, tahini sauce, spicy sauce, humus, chutney, garlic yogurt. Or they are just perfect on their own.
Falafel can be eaten cold or hot. This chickpea balls are mostly popular in S and SW of Iran but in other cities of country such as Tehran is very popular too.
- 450 g chickpeas, soaked overnight
- 1 1/2 tbsp plain flour or chickpeas flour
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 large onion
- A bunch of parsley
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2tsp cumin
- 1tsp coriander powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients for mint-parsley sauce
- 3 tbsp plain yogurt
- Small bunch of mint and parsley
- 1 small bell pepper
- Salt to taste
If you want your falafel to turn out right, you need to soak dried chickpeas overnight. So they will be double in size. Next day, drain and rinse them. Pour chickpeas into a food processor. Then add all ingredients ( except flour) for falafel into the food processor and make smooth mixture.
Then add flour and season the chickpeas mixture with all above mentioned spices. Mix all together very well. Using wet hands or a falafel scoop, form falafel mixture into round balls or oval shape. By the way, If you wish, sprinkle some sesame seeds on each chickpeas ball too .Then place chickpea balls in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
Falafel is traditionally fried but you can bake it instead too. So bake falafel in 175 C degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
And if you want to fry falafel, add enough oil for deep frying in a deep saucepan. Place the pot over a high heat and heat the oil, then drop falafel balls in the oil and fry until brown ( 7-8 minutes).
For making sauce, you need to place all ingredients for sauce in a blender and make a smooth sauce.
When all falafels are fried. You can serve them plain or Wrap 3-4 of falafels in a pita bread, topping with sauce and enjoy it.