Falafel is one of those typical vegetarian dishes that everyone knows. Its particularly popular in the middle east. Its a very easy dish to prepare, however there are a few factors to consider when attempting to make great falafel.

1. Soaking the chickpeas for between 12-24 hours NOT COOKING THEM. Most traditional falafel is made with beans that have been soaked only.. if you cook them and then try to fry them they will likely disintegrate into the oil. Theres something about not cooking them that holds them together nicely, this is a plus as it saves you time cooking them!

2. Herbs and spices. Theres nothing worse than a falafel thats lacking in seasoning. Making sure there is enough spice, herbs and salt is crucial.

3. Having a banging hummus to serve them with! For this reason I’m also sharing a legit hummus recipe along with this falafel recipe 🙂

Lets get down to it!

Chickpea Falafels

(serves 3-4 people)

125g dried chickpeas (soaked for 24 hours and rinsed)
25g fresh parsley (roughly chopped)
100g white onion finely chopped (1 small onion)
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika
1.5 tsp himalayan salt
3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
2 tbsp olive oil + 2 tbsp more for cooking the onions

1. Heat up a frying pan with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add the chopped onion and cook on a medium to low heat for 5 minutes until the onions are lightly caramelised.

2. Add the spices and the salt and cook for a further 2 minutes to caramelise the spices nicely.

3. Process all ingredients in a food processor, do not over blend.. you want to keep some texture. Blend them just enough that you can make balls with them.

4. Make them into balls and fry in a pot with vegetable oil. Make sure the oil isn’t smoking, if it is then its too hot. You can test it by dropping a little bit of the falafel mix in, if it begins to fry its hot enough, if it doesn’t then wait a few minutes more.

5. I like to shallow fry the falafels, so I cook them for around 90 seconds on each side or until golden brown (sometimes a bit darker so they are more crispy). When you remove the falafels place them onto kitchen paper to drain off excess oil and serve straight away so they maintain their crispy texture.

Banging hummus

400g tin of chickpeas (liquid included)
120g raw tahini
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp himalyan salt
15g lemon juice (1 tbsp)
1 tbsp olive oil (optional)

1. Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor. If you use a blender your hummus will be smoother, I like to use the food processor as I prefer a more textured hummus.

Serve the falafels inside a lightly toasted pita bread with tomato salsa, lettuce pickles and your favourite chilli sauce!