IMG_2708 (1).JPG
Falafel Pita
Authentic Falafel

I loved the falafel I had in a Druze village near Mt. Carmel in Israel.  It took me years to find a similar recipe, but I think this is it.  I make up the falafel mix and fry one patty to make sure I have all the seasonings to my liking before I make the rest into patties.  (And if you really want to go all out, you can get a 4 cm falafel tool that makes the best, quickest most consistent patties -- I love mine, and I also use it for making other appetizers.)

2 cups garbanzo beans, dried

1 medium onion, quartered

2 cloves garlic

2 slices stale bread

1/4 cup parsley

1/3 cup red bell pepper, chopped

2 teaspoons salt

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons oregano

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

4 teaspoons flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup water

6-8 tablespoons Unflavored Olive Oil

Check beans for foreign matter.  Place in a large bowl; cover generously with water and soak overnight.  Do not cook them.

Drain beans.  Add onion, garlic, bread, parsley, and red bell pepper.  Run through a meat grinder on fine or pulse in a food processor until mealy (about the size of panko bread crumbs.  (I process half of the bean mixture at a time to ensure I get a good mix.)  Add spices, flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/4 cup water.  Mix well.

In a small dish, mix the remaining baking powder and water.  Use it to moisten the palms of your hand and form balls of the chickpea mixture the size of walnuts; then flatten a bit.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet until ready to cook.  They can be frozen at this point if you wish, and cook them up to a month later.

You can cook your falafel in a skillet, in a deep fryer, in an air fryer, or in the oven.  The key is using enough olive oil to make them crisp.  Don't skimp -- olive oil helps with texture and taste.

1) Skillet or Deep Fryer:  Place about 4 tablespoons of olive in a skillet (or 2 inches in a deep fryer) and cook the falafel on medium high until deeply golden brown on each side.  Add more olive oil as necessary.  Drain on paper towels.

2) Air Fryer:  Make a foil liner for your air fryer.  Spray or brush about 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil on each side of the falafel.  Bake in a preheated air fryer until crisp and deep golden on each side, about a total of 8-12 minutes.

3) Oven:  Generousely spray or brush each falafel with olive oil on one side.  Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven until golden on the first side.  Spray or brush again and turn over; spray or brush the second side with more olive oil.  Total baking time is about 10-12 minutes, depending on the size.

**  I love to dip falafel in one of our dip mixes or serve them in a pita with lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber and a drizzle of tzaziki or sour cream.