Herby Fried Falafel
As it turns out, deep frying at home is no biggie! I’d always steered clear of recipes involving boiling oil for fear of splattered walls and gnarly burns. Instead, I’d partake in oil-logged dishes at restaurants, where the submersion happens out of sight. So when I came across Bon Appetit’s Fresh Herb Falafel video, in which Molly Baz declares that baked falafel is a sin and demonstrates how straightforward and simple fried falafel can be, I proceeded with cautious optimism.
There were no burns and no splatters, just perfectly golden, crispy spheres of chickpea, herbaceous goodness. The outside is crunchy and the inside is a vibrant, bright green thanks to the abundance of herbs. I’ve officially sworn off baked falafel and have stockpiled a gallon of canola oil to further enable my newfound appreciation for at-home deep frying. This recipe is cheap and fast, just like your neighborhood Mediterranean spot, only better.
(recipe adapted only very slightly from Bon Appetit’s Fresh Herb Falafel)
Ingredients (Serves 4)
8 ounces dried chickpeas, soaked 8-12 and drained
½ yellow onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
¾ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
½ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons chickpea flour
2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cumin
Canola oil (a lot of it)
Pulse chickpeas in a food processor until they have a similar consistency to chopped nuts and transfer to a large bowl.
Pulse onion, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro and parsley until coarsely chopped. Add to chickpea bowl.
Add chickpea flour, salt, baking powder, coriander and cumin and mix it all up. Form mixture into golf ball sized spheres.
Pour oil into a heavy pot so it’s at least 3 inches deep. Stick a deep fry thermometer in there and heat oil over medium-high until the temperature reaches 330°-350°.
Working in batches, add a few falafel balls to the oil at a time, turning occasionally, until deep brown and crisp, about five minutes. Transfer cooked falafel balls to a paper towel and let cool.
Serve over salad or stuffed inside a pita with hummus and vegetables.