Briefly about falafel
Falafel is a common street food, now popular around the world, that first originated in the Middle East. Made with chickpeas, fava beans or both, there are many contradictory claims about who actually invented this tasty little snack, but the most convincing argument seems to be that they came first from Egypt before spreading north through the Levant.
Today, many nations claim falafel as their national dish including Egypt, Palestine and Israel, which as you can imagine has become another source of contention between these seemingly forever waring peoples. As for the preparation, most Middle Eastern countries use chickpeas as the main ingredient whilst in Egypt they favour fava beans.
What you need to make chickpea falafel
– food blender (you can do it by hand but it will take you ages)
– falafel mould (for the perfect shape)
– lots of frying oil
– chickpeas (obviously)
– lentils and/or fava beans (optional)
– tumeric, salt & pepper (you can also use coriander, parsley, cumin among other herbs)
The benefits of eating falafel
Fafafel has become a staple dish of vegetarians and vegans the world over as a meat free source of protein. Chickpeas are also low in fat and salt, and contain no cholesterol so are a fantastically healthy snack.
How to make Iranian falafel
1) Soak the chickpeas (lentils / fava beans) overnight, changing the water every so often (as much as needed for the water to be clean)
2) After draining, throw the chopped onion and herbs in with the chickpeas
3) Blend all the ingredients together (you can also blend them separately and mix them together afterwards)
4) Form round falafel shapes using the falafel mould. Make them firm and compact to save them from breaking apart in frying.
5) Deep fry (avoid turning more than once as they will break apart).
It is commonly served in pita bread or with flat breads (as was the case in Iran) in order to make a sandwich snack. If served alone it is often topped with salads, pickled vegetables or hot sauces.
In the video below we are taught how to make falafel by master chef (and lovely guy into the process) Shahram from Shiraz. Check out how to make this simple recipe like a pro below …
written by: Jon