Traveling through Amsterdam, a friend and I stumbled upon this very unassuming storefront window that specialized in falafels. Of course we were on vacation and just had to try them. This quant storefront became our daily routine. Coming back to the states, I have found several excellent variations but this recipe is the one I turn to and one that quickly takes me back to Amsterdam where my love for falafels all began.
Yield: 4 – 6 servings (20 small falafels)
Preparation time: 20 minutes + 1 hour refrigeration
Cook Time: 10 minutes
1, 15-ounce can cooked or 1 cup dry chickpeas
1/2 large yellow onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
3 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping patties
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, for cooking
1. If using dry chickpeas: Do this the night before! Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain.
2. If using canned/cooked chickpeas: Drain and rinse the peas under cold water before using.
3. In a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, add the cooked chickpeas, onions, parsley, salt, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.
4. Add baking powder and 1/2 cup flour and pulse. The dough should be tacky.
5. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for an hour, or until cold.
6. Using floured hands, form the chickpea mixture into 20, small balls, approximately the size of a Ping-Pong ball. Flatten the balls in your palms until they are each 1/4-inch thick and resemble small pancakes.
7. In a large fry pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons oil and allow to heat, approximately 1 minute.
8. Working in batches, add the falafel cakes to the preheated pan ensuring there is at least 1/2-inch from one to the next. Allow to cook undisturbed until the bottom is golden brown, approximately 1 – 2 minutes. Flip and cook the second side for an additional 1 – 2 minutes, or until golden brown.
9. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel lined plate. Set to the side and repeat with the remaining falafels until they have all been cooked. Note: If more oil is needed before the second batch is added, add 1 tablespoon, allow to heat (20 seconds) then add the falafels.
10. Best served hot with tzatziki or hummus (like my delicious recipes for both found at thetabletogether.com) or stuffed into fresh pitas.
Kitchen Note: Feel free to substitute cilantro for the parsley or omit the parsley all together. Dough can keep covered in the refrigerator overnight and cooked off the next day.