What are the best falafel recipes
Falafel are one of our favorite street food! The small balls are uncomplicated, go well with many other ingredients and really fill you up for a long time. And about falafel there are also interesting facts about its origin and history. That is why we asked ourselves today how you can make falafel yourself and what there is to know about the topic.
Everything you need to know about falafel
What do you know about falafel? There is a lot of history and tradition behind the little balls! Ancient Egypt is believed to be the place of origin. Falafel is said to have played an important role in the daily diet - and was prepared from various legumes. You read that right! Falafel were originally made apparently from the broad beans we know. These make for a lighter, green color and have a spicier taste. To this day it is not known who is said to have prepared falafel first. There is much to be said for Arabic cuisine, but there are also theories that the balls are the result of the Coptic Christians of Egypt who ate falafel during certain fasting periods. Nowadays falafel can be found all over the Middle East, as well as parts of the Middle East, North Africa and Israel - it's even a national dish there.
How do you eat falafel?
Traditionally, falafel are eaten with hummus and / or aubergine puree or tahini, i.e. sesame sauce. There are also various seared vegetables, e.g. eggplant, zucchini or cauliflower and beetroot or pickles. Pita bread is also often served with falafel. The mango sauce popular in Berlin is actually also a Berlin invention and actually not traditional. The combination with Toum - a Syrian garlic cream - is also popular. You can snack falafel just like that, order it as a falafel plate or in a flatbread, like a kebab.
Falafel are in themselves a vegan dish and a very good vegan source of protein. They hardly contain any fat and are fried in a good oil and with lots of vegetables they are a tasty and filling alternative to other fast foods. In addition, it never gets boring combined with different sauces - I like tzatziki with a falafel plate, for example.
Why make falafel yourself?
Sure, you can buy falafel quickly, making falafel yourself is easy and offers some advantages: When making falafel yourself, you can freely decide how much of the individual ingredients you want to use. For example, do you really like cumin? Just use more of it. Do you fancy a change? Spice up your falafel with different spices.
In addition: When making falafel yourself, you also have an eye on the quality of your individual ingredients and can shop according to your preferences. Another advantage: You can adapt the taste of the small balls to other dishes, for example by using the same spices.
The ingredients are crucial when making falafel yourself
The most important basic rule when making falafel yourself is: Never take chickpeas out of the can! It's handy, of course, but these falafels will never have the fluffy texture that makes a good falafel. It's better to use dried chickpeas and soak them in a bowl of water overnight. And then: Better mash than puree with a hand blender (also for the sake of consistency) and season well 😉. For classic falafel you need the following ingredients:
- Spring onion
- Chickpea flour (just grind a few dried chickpeas in a mortar)
- Fresh coriander or coriander powder
- Black pepper
Other spices and herbs are optional and of course also possible depending on your taste.
And then: use the spices and fresh ingredients (except for the chickpeas) to first prepare a kind of paste in a mortar - this will make your falafel particularly aromatic.
Make falafel yourself with our recipe
And here comes our recipe for delicious, crispy falafel!
- 500 g dried chickpeas
- 1 small spring onion, finely chopped
- 1 bunch of parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 3-5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1-2 tbsp chickpea flour
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 2 teaspoons of cumin
- 10 g fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped (alternatively 1 teaspoon ground coriander)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Vegetable oil for deep-frying
- Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and just cover them with water. Let soak overnight.
- Put all ingredients except the chickpeas and the chickpea flour in a mortar and grind everything until a paste is formed.
- Mix the chickpeas and paste in a bowl. Then mash everything into a homogeneous, not too fine mass. It should be between the textures of couscous and a paste, not too "mushy" or too coarse.
- As soon as you are satisfied with the consistency, stir the mixture with a fork so that it is homogeneous. Then cover the bowl and put everything in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
- Put vegetable oil in a deep frying pan until it is about 4-5 cm high - don't worry, at the right temperature the falafels won't soak up full of oil. It works best with vegetable oils that have a high smoke point, e.g. rapeseed oil or grapeseed oil. Slowly heat the oil over medium heat.
- Shape the chickpea mass into small balls while the oil is hot. It should be around 30 balls, depending on the size. The falafel should stick together loosely, as soon as you put them in the oil, they better "stick" together.
- Start with a test falafel in the middle of the pan: it should be in the oil for 2-3 minutes on each side. If you can do it faster, your oil is too hot and the falafel will not cook through properly. Then cool the oil down a little and try again.
- Put 5-6 falafel at a time in the pan and fry them. Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and place them on paper towels to cool. They taste best when you serve them right away.
I hope our recipe for making falafel yourself will help you to serve the small, crispy balls in the coming time of finger food 😊.
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