Falafel is part of traditional Middle Eastern food. It is prepared by deep frying balls of Chickpeas (also known as Garbanzo Beans/Kabuli Chana). It is usually served by wrapping it inside a pita bread, topped by tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber etc. along with a dip.
It is also eaten as a snack, paired with hummus (chickpeas and sesame seeds dip). You will find the recipe for hummus in my previous post.
Chickpeas are known for being an excellent source of protein, dietary fiber, folate and iron. They are also considered a moderate source of thiamin, magnesium and vitamin B-6.
Chickpeas are low in fat but a considerable amount of fat is absorbed during the deep-frying process. You can occasionally try pan-frying falafel balls. They will not be as crispy as the deep-fried ones but the taste will still remain delicious.
Yields : 14-16 Falafel Balls
2 Cups Soaked Chickpeas
1 1/2 Tbsp Chopped Garlic
1 1/2 Tbsp Parsley (Dry)
3 Tbsp Chopped Mint Leaves
2 Tbsp Chopped Coriander Leaves
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/4 Tsp Baking Soda
1 1/2 Tsp Cumin Seeds Powder
1 Tsp Red Chilli Flakes
3/4 Tsp Red Paprika Powder
2 1/2 Tbsp Corn flour Powder
Salt as per Taste
Cooking Oil (For Deep-Frying / Pan-Frying)
Pour all the ingredients (except for coriander leaves and mint leaves) in a mixer-grinder/food processor and blitz it to get a thick mixture.
Add chopped mint leaves and coriander leaves to it. Mix all the ingredients with the help of a spatula.
Shape the mixture into balls and refrigerate the balls for 2-3 hours.
Deep-fry/ Pan-fry refrigerated falafel balls.
Transfer them to a paper napkin to absorb excess oil.
Serve falafel with hummus or wrap it inside a pita bread.
Chickpeas almost double in size,when soaked.So, you can soak approximately 1 cup of dry chickpeas to get 2 cups of soaked chickpeas.
If falafel balls fall apart while frying, you can add some more cornflour powder to mixture.
Another option is to dip it in cornflour slurry and coat with bread-crumbs. Refrigerate for 25-30 mins and try deep-frying again.
Hummus is prepared with boiled chickpeas, sesame seeds, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic.The dip originated in Egypt and now, it has become popular all around the globe.It is usually served with pita bread or as an accompaniment to falafel. It tastes delicious with sandwiches and bread-sticks as well.
Apart from basic ingredients, I have added roasted red bell pepper (for bright color and smoky flavor), yogurt (for smoother texture) and paprika powder (for spicy taste).
Now, let me share some nutritional benefits of important ingredients used in preparing hummus ….
Chickpeas are also termed as garbanzo beans or kabuli chana. They are known for being a significant source of protein, dietary fiber, folate and iron. They are also considered a moderate source of thiamin, magnesium and vitamin B-6.
Sesame seeds are a rich source of protein, Vitamin B group,calcium, magnesium, iron and a few more minerals. They are high in calories, so it is best to have them in moderation.
Red bell peppers are an excellent source of Vitamin C and contain very good quantities of Vitamin A and a few other antioxidants. Another wonderful thing about them is that they are very low on calories.
So, just follow the instructions and prepare this scrumptious hummus. You will love it.
Yields : 1 Cup
1 Cup Soaked Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans/ Kabuli Chana)
1 Big Red Bell Pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds (White Til)
1/2 Tbsp Chopped Garlic
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tsp Paprika Powder
8 Tsp Yogurt
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt as per Taste
Boil soaked chickpeas in a pressure cooker with 1 cup of water. Lower the flame after one whistle and cook for 15 minutes.
Drain excess water and transfer chickpeas to a bowl so that they are cooled off.
Roast red bell pepper directly on gas-burner till its skin becomes charred (turns black).
Wash it under cold water to remove the skin and chop it roughly.
Dry-roast sesame seeds on a hot tava for a minute or two. They will start to splutter and change color.
Add all the ingredients to a mixer-grinder/ food processor and grind the ingredients till you receive a smooth paste.
If the consistency of paste is too thick or you have trouble grinding it, add 2-3 tablespoons of water.
Hummus is ready, pour it into a bowl and garnish with some paprika powder.
Soak chickpeas for 7-8 hours or overnight. Chickpeas almost double in size, when soaked. So, approximately 1/2 a cup of raw chickpeas should yield 1 cup of soaked chickpeas.
I have used yogurt as an ingredient to give it a smoother texture because I did not want to use too much oil. If you do not have yogurt at home, you can just increase the quantity of olive oil by 1/2-1 tablespoon.