Today I decided to write about one of my childhood favorites, falafel. Growing up in Israel, you can find falafel almost everywhere, and to me, it is one of the most nostalgic and comforting foods. However, like many street foods, falafel is normally fried, and staffed into a pita with many salads, fries, and pickled vegetables, which can be quite high in calories, fats, and salts (that bloat your face the next day, and nobody wants that!). Here is a recipe that is easy, health, and packed with nutrients and protein.
I suggest eating this with a simple Israeli salad: tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and parley, with some olive oils, salt and pepper, and drizzled with tahini sauce (see Tahini post). You can also make this into a delicious bowl, with either rice or quinoa, vegetables and tahini sauce. If you are worried about your carb intake, remember that quinoa is a seed, and is actually fairly low in calories.
1 cup of dried chickpeas (soaked in water for 24 hours and drained)
1 bunch of cilantro
1 medium onion
2-3 cloves of garlic
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Spices and baking items:
1 table spoon of cumin
½ table spoon of smoked paprika (Or spicy depending on your taste)
½-tea spoon of baking soda
3 -4 table spoons of flour (I used white, but you can also use whole wheat)
½-tea spoon of Himalayan pink salt
½-tea spoon of pepper
A food processor is the easiest way to prepare this. However, you can use whatever grinding tool you prefer.
1. Place chickpeas into a medium size pot and cover with lukewarm water. Let it sit for at least 24 hours for optimal results.
2. Once the chickpeas are ready, drain the water, and place the chickpeas along with all other ingredients into a large food processor and blend on high. You can either add lemon juice at this stage, or at the next one.
3. Look at the consistency of the mixture, it should stick together, and can be easily molded into a ball or disk. If it does not, one table spoon of flour and mixing it into the mixture. Continue until the mixture has the desired consistency.
4. Preheat a heavy skillet, then add vegetable oil. Form the falafel into your desired shape (I prefer disks because they are easier to flip, and are crispier), and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.