Sunday, 17 January 2016

Falafel

Falafel is a Middle Eastern recipe made using chickpeas which are highly nutritious and cheap to buy - full of protein, complex carbohydrates and fibre. Dried and soaked chickpeas are normally used, but I used pre-soaked ones that come in a sealed packet with water - they are firmer and give a much better result than the tinned ones which are too soft. I used some Indian gram flour to help bind them - gram flour is made from finely milled chickpeas and dried split yellow peas


1 large cup of chickpeas
1 or 2 onions cut in chunks
a large handful of fresh coriander - I use the top part of the stems as well as the leaves
2 large cloves garlic
ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
good pinch of ground cardamon
pinch of salt if you wish
gram flour and egg to bind as necessary

I used cold press rape seed oil for cooking which is ideal to use at high temperatures and doesn't go toxic. I normally cook with olive oil, but I learnt fairly recently that it is not suitable for cooking at high temperatures.   
Put everything apart from the flour and egg into the processor and pulse gently so that it still keeps some texture. You don't want the mixture to be smooth and turn into hummus.


Place in clean bowl adding flour and beaten egg to bind the mixture
If you have a deep fat fryer roll the mixture into traditional balls - I do not, so made patties. Cook in hot oil until golden brown. Mine were finished off in the oven for 30 mins to make sure that they were properly cooked inside
There are many variations you can make to the mixture according to your taste - use fresh parsley or mint; give them a taste of Morocco by adding chopped dried apricots with paprika and cayenne pepper - the choice is yours
Traditionally served inside warm pitta bread with humus and salad
P.S I use gram flour to make pizza bases - it is more nutritious, and  flavoursome. It contains no gluten and is suitable for vegans - it is an Indian/Middle Eastern flour and can be found on ethnic shelves in the supermarkets

72 comments:

  1. Thanks for this mouthwatering recipe!
    Beautiful, mouthwatering too, pictures :>)
    Cheers,

    Jeanneke.

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    1. Thank you so much Jeanneke - it is good to have something a little less rich following on from the Christmas festivities

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  2. Hi Rosemary,

    I like to make falafels with pita bread as with the chick peas make for a healthy meal.
    Happy New Year, to you and your family and best wishes for 2016
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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    1. Hello Carolyn - I froze some of mine successfully - they are handy to have in case of unexpected visitors.

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  3. We do like chilli powder in this house. Your recipe would taste delicious when cooked..

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    1. I am certainly getting my moneys worth out of the spices I bought in the Istanbul Spice Market.

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  4. Hello Rosemary, You falafel look so good I can almost taste them from here, and what a good idea for my next trip back. We often go out for falafel, but the home-made version sounds better, and one can control the flavors and amount of oil.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - I had no idea just how easy it is to make - hope that you give it a try.

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  5. Dear Rosemary, Your Falafel recipe is packed with nutrition and goodness. Thank you also for the rape seed oil reminder. Also good to know is that one can freeze Falafel, so important when preparing for just forthe two of us.
    Your photos make ones mouth water.

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    1. Dear Gina - it was the first time that I have ever made it but I was happy with the results. I was trying to recreate some of the tastes and flavours that we have enjoyed on our trips.

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  6. They look delicious! I think we had some one time when we were in Egypt.

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    1. It is very likely that you did eat it in Egypt - it is a Middle Eastern dish and widely attributed to the Copts living in Egypt.

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  7. Mmmmh - delicious - especially I will try the idea with chopped dried apricots (I love the mixture of sweet and salty - tomorrow I will cook a Northern German lentil soup with stewed prunes and sweet and sour). I love chickpeas - but have to confess that I never tried falafel - though we have so many delis in Berlin that sell them. So: I will do something about that!

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    1. I like the sound of your soup Britta - tasty and nourishing too.
      Give falafel a try Britta, I should imagine that you would enjoy it.
      Many of our supermarkets now sell it - Waitrose sells an intersting selection, some made with beetroot, and some with spinach. We have a little deli cafe that sells it in wraps freshly made, and a chap with a stall who cooks it on the streets, rather like they do India and Thailand.

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  8. Dear Rosemary,
    I almost feel ashamed to say it, but I've actually never tasted falafel. It just hasn't happened. But your mouthwatering recipe will definitely set this thing straight. Sounds like a very easy thing to make so now I really have no excuse. ;) Thank you my dear. :)

    Have a lovely Sunday.♥

    Charlie
    xx

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    1. It is a good healthy and very tasty food Charlie - hope that you do give it a try. I had always imagined that it was much more difficult to make than in fact it was.

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  9. Thank you for all the tips on making falafel such as not using tinned chickpeas. I love to eat them, but have never made any from scratch.

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    1. I got my packet of pre-soaked chickpeas in water from Sainsburys. The tinned ones are much too soft for the mixture.

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  10. Mmmm, I love a good falafel. I've never attempted to make them myself, however. Good for you!

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    1. It is very easy Debra - much less difficult than I had imagined.

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  11. Rosemary, isn't the Spice Market amazing in Istanbul? Isn't Istanbul amazing!!!!!!! Bob's favorite city in the world!

    I love making felafel but have to admit I buy readymade mix from local Middle Easterm restaurant/bakery/shop (they're a lovely originally Lebanese family, the matriarch, now 90, still cooking in the kitchen!) and all their food is wonderful.
    You've whet my appetite this cold Sunday - think I may just fry up a few patties - yes, NOT in olive oil, your reminder was good - later today to nibble by the fire this evening! I think I have some pita bread in the freezer and I have lovely fresh parsley in the garden.

    Hugs - Mary

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    1. Lucky you Mary - I imagine that your readymade mix from such a good source is excellent. Glad that I whet your appetite and that in fact you will make some today. Happy falafel eating♡

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    2. Mine were really good tonight and adding a lot more fresh chopped parsley from the garden made them taste even fresher. Glad to see you have 'met' Michael in Colorado - he's such a great guy and talented designer/artist, and, like me, is still homesick for England even after all our years away!
      Mary x

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    3. A good handful of chopped fresh herbs really makes all the difference to their appearance and flavour - glad you enjoyed them.
      I do not know Michael but will pop over and have a look at his blog.

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  12. Can you tell me how to pronounce it? Stress on the first a or the second? Yours look delicious!

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    1. At the end of the word you say fa rather than fel
      Go here to here how it sounds
      http://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/pronunciation/american/falafel

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  13. I wrote this down--hoping this gives me the little push to really make it! (I have a boxed type, but would love to make these as I am sure they are much more delicious!) Thanks.

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    1. Do give them a try - if you do not have gram flour then just use your usual flour. Good luck♡

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  14. They both look and sound delicious! I have never made them, but have eaten them and enjoyed them, but I bet that homemade are even better! xx

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    1. We have a little ethnic cafe in town that makes them, and every time I step inside the smells and aromas bring back our travels, so I decided to give them a try. They are much easier to make than I had anticipated.

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  15. Yum! You are making my mouth water looking at these and reading about it. I can almost smell the pungent aroma. So good for you too.

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    1. Thank you for visiting Michael - I am pleased that they turned out the way they did, it was a first attempt for me. Please do call again.

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  16. A great recipe for healthy food. In addition, interestingly shown in the pictures. Regards.

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    1. That is very kind of you to say Giga - thank you

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  17. Your falafel looks so delicious! I know my husband will love it, thanks for the recipe.

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    1. Once the ingredients are assembled they are very easy to make.

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  18. Hello Rosemary,
    Your falafel looks delicious. I can imagine using dried chickpeas versus canned makes a huge difference. The flavour worth the extra work. Wishing you a great week
    Helen xx

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    1. Hello Helen - if you use the dried ones then they need to be soaked overnight. The ones that I bought could be used instantly as they were dried presoaked ones - I don't know if these are readily available everywhere, I got mine in Sainsburys.
      Hope all is well with you Helen♡

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  19. I'll try that recipe - it looks really good. I'll need to search out some gram flour (this a new flour for me) at one of the many Middle Eastern stores on the other side of town.

    Ms Soup

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    1. Hello MsSoup - I used gram flour because I had it, and it seemed to suit the purpose, but you could use your regular flour. Use just a small amount and only if the mixture seems to call for it when you come to shaping the patties.

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  20. Thanks for the recipe, sounds delicious , can imagine the scent filling the house with all these flavors !

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    1. Dear Jane - I am enjoying using my Masala Dabba and creating lovely spicey aromas in the kitchen - having it to hand I am even popping spices into other things i.e. scrambled eggs etc.

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  21. Rosemary, you've certainly whet my appetite too! I can't wait to visit our Middle Eastern grocery store to gather the ingredients!
    I liked your tip on which chick peas to use for crunch!
    We're currently watching the new Australian Masterchef series and they cook a few dishes like this - I'm hooked on healthy food!
    Thank you I loved this post - your photos are gorgeous too!
    Shane x

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    1. Dear Shane - some of these foods seem to be a mystery until you actually look into them a little bit more. These falafels are so much simpler than I had imagined them to be. It is the same with making curries, I would never go back to using bought sauces as they are so easy to make yourself.
      I like Masterchef too, and am amazed at the progress that amateur cooks make during the series.
      Thank you for your kind comment re: photos♡

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  22. My Lebanese neighbours shared falafel patties with me some years ago. I had not tasted them before and enjoyed the flavour and texture.

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    1. Dear Betty - you must have experienced some proper authentic ones from your Lebanese neighbours, however, I found that it was not too difficult to replicate them.

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  23. In have never eaten these, but they sound delicious. I do like all of the ingredients. Brings back a memory of when I was frustrated that I couldn't find coriander for a recipe. Someone finally told me that we call it cilantro here in Texas!

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    1. I am pleased that you told me that - I keep seeing recipes with cilantro and didn't realise what it was corriander. When I was in Florida I saw arugula on the menu and didn't know what it was until my SiL told me it is what we call rocket - another one is zucchini which we call courgettes.

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  24. Looks wonderful. I made hummus from a "proper" recipe recently and wow, what a difference from the stuff you buy in the shops!

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    1. I like making my own hummus too it is so much easier to make than you imagine it will be

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  25. Dear Rosemary,

    Good to see your are a 'Falafel' fan as well. The girls and I love it! Thank you for the recipe!

    Have a good week!

    Madelief x

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    1. When I think of the food choices we used to have years ago I realise that we have moved on a long way. There are food products that I buy and use that my mother would not even recognise.

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  26. Ooh, I love falafel, I had it for the first time at a huge market - Wembley Sunday Market in fact many many years ago, it was delicious.

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    1. The combination of spices, herbs and chickpeas carries you away to sunnier shores.

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  27. I shall be trying this recipe as it looks delicious and although I have eaten them I have never made them. I shall look out for those chick peas in the sealed packet too. Sarah x

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    1. Hello Sarah - the chickpeas came from Sainsburys in those little sealed boxes that they also sell chopped tomatoes in. Good luck, and hope you enjoy.

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  28. Dear Rosemary - The place I came to know farafel is Farafel King, a vegetarian restaurant in the downtown of Nara City. Unfortunately the shop was closed several year ago and this post has made me miss the restaurant so much, I liked to stop by for a light meal. Farafel balls made of chickpeas powder which look like meat balls were my favorite. It was nice eaten as farafel burger or in salad. Deep-fried may not sound perfectly healthy, but I thought farafel dishes were wholesome. You look enjoying not only cooking but also using that beautiful container.

    Yoko

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    1. Dear Yoko - we have a fairly new restaurant in town that make their own falafel, and as you pass by their door the smells entice you in. It was because of this restaurant that I tried to make my own. I thought if they can make them then perhaps I can too. I hope I get better I become more proficient - we all like them in this family.

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  29. I don't think I have ever had falafel, but these look delicious, and would be so healthy too. I must expand my culinary horizons!

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    1. Dear Patricia - they are also cheap and nourishing too. It is said that they originated with the early Coptic Christians in Egypt when they used chickpeas instead of meat during lent.

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    1. Some have been frozen but the rest have been eaten!

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  31. You have given me inspiration for our tea tomorrow!

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  32. I have missed being able to read your posts and was interested to return to find this falafel recipe. I came to love falafel from street stands on a visit to Israel years ago. Back then it was very exotic, but now it is sold even in staid old Victoria. It is still a treat!

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    1. Hello H - it is lovely to hear from you. Being a foodstuff that we have not grown up with tends to hold mysteries for us, but as I have discovered it is not so difficult to make.

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  33. Your photos of food rations looks delicious and beautiful.
    Hugs

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  34. Dear Rosemary,

    Your falafel looks delectible, and I imagine that your kitchen provides many happy memories of your travels, in the cooking, the aromas, and the good tasting. This comes to you late in the month, but I wish you and H all the best for 2016!

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    1. Dear Mark - it is such a treat to see you here, we all really miss you.
      Travelling to India has certainly awakend a wider interest for me in the use of spices.
      H and I both wish you a very happy 2016, and great enjoyment and satisfaction in whatever pursuits you are now involved with.

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  35. I love hummus but have never tried falafel. Your clear instructions are tempting me to try making some when we get home.

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    1. If you like hummus then I am sure that you would enjoy this Perpetua.

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