The Washington Post

Crispy Herbed Falafel

Crispy Herbed Falafel 10.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Mar 13, 2019

If you have never made falafel at home, you're in for a treat. This recipe from chef-restaurateur Einat Admony produces fritters that are crisp on the outside and tender within.

About the frying: It is manageable even for beginners here, because there is little risk of splattering and not a lot of oil is used. But decent results can be achieved by baking the falafel; see the VARIATIONS, below.

An instant-read thermometer is helpful for monitoring the frying oil. The oil can be strained and reused.

Serve with pita bread and your choice of accompaniments, including tahini, harissa and pickled vegetables.

Make Ahead: The dried chickpeas need to be soaked overnight. The falafel mixture can be shaped and refrigerated for a few days or frozen individually, then gathered in a zip-top freezer bag for up to 1 month. The falafel are best eaten fresh, but extras can be reheated in a 350-degree oven on a baking sheet, for 10 to 15 minutes.


Servings:
10 - 12

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 10-12 servings; makes 30 to 40 small pieces

Ingredients
  • 2 cups dried chickpeas
  • 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seed, lightly crushed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups packed cilantro leaves
  • 2 cups packed parsley (no long stems)
  • Canola oil, for frying

Directions

Place the chickpeas in a mixing bowl and cover with cool water by a few inches. Let them sit overnight. Drain the chickpeas into a colander, discarding the soaking liquid.

Combine the onion and garlic in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Add the crushed coriander seed and drained chickpeas; pulse just until the chickpeas are reduced to smaller chunks. Stop to shove the mixture around with a spatula.

Add the salt, cumin and pepper; process until the mixture is finely chopped but not pureed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the work bowl as needed. The mixture should resemble coarse meal, not a smooth hummus. It should mostly hold together when you press a clump in your hands. (If your food processor isn't big enough to hold all the ingredients, especially after you add the herbs in the next step, process the mixture in two batches.)

Add the cilantro and parsley to the falafel mixture in the food processor; pulse until the herbs are finely chopped and evenly distributed. Test the mixture again by trying to shape it into a mound. Continue to process until it keeps its shape.

When you're ready to fry, heat 2 inches of oil in a deep, heavy pot over medium to medium-high heat, to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels, then seat a wire cooling rack on top.

Use a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop or disher or your hands to form a total of 30 to 40 slightly mounded disks that are about 1 1/2 inches wide. (If you've shaped the disks with a scoop or disher, gently flatten them a bit with your hands so they are not so dramatically domed.) Using this shape, rather than a ball, helps to promote even cooking.

Carefully add 6 to 8 falafel at a time to the hot oil; cook for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until they are browned and cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them the rack to drain. Repeat to cook all the falafel, making sure the oil returns to the proper temperature before adding the next batch.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

VARIATIONS: To bake the falafel, place them on a rimmed baking sheet generously slicked with olive oil. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until browned and crisped, flipping them over halfway through.

For a spicy red falafel, skip the herbs and add between 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup of harissa, depending on how spicy you like it, stirring it into the processed chickpeas by hand.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from a recipe by Einat Admony, chef-restaurateur of Balaboosta, Kish-Kash and Taim in New York.

Tested by Becky Krystal.

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Nutritional Facts

Ingredients are too variable for a meaningful analysis.

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