Today, after I took my first final, I needed to relax and forget about studying for a bit! For me, relaxing usually means whipping something up in the kitchen.
I wanted to make something that I could enjoy now, but also freeze and eat throughout the next week. I was craving Middle Eastern food to go with some hummus I needed to use up, so I figured I’d try my hand at making falafel. This isn’t the most traditional of falafel recipes; I usually find falafel to be pretty bland so I added extra cayenne and red pepper flakes to give it a little kick! If you don’t like spicy food, omit the red pepper flakes and cut down on the cayenne to mellow it out a bit. Also, I had a bell pepper that I needed to use, so I threw that in the food processor too! Yum.
Yield: Between 18-24 falafel balls, depending on how big you make them.
- 1 can (15 oz) of rinsed and drained chickpeas
- 1/3 large onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped (I used an orange pepper, but whatever you have on hand is fine!)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 7 T flour (or more, if it isn’t forming a doughy enough texture)
- 2 T tahini
- 2 t cayenne pepper
- 2 t cumin
- 1 t coriander
- 1 t salt
- 1 t dried parsley
- 1 t baking powder
- hot pepper flakes, to taste
- oil for frying (I used vegetable oil)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine all ingredients except oil in food processor. Pulse until it turns into a wet “dough”. Some chunkiness is fine, depending on how you like your falafel.
- Put vegetable oil in a skillet and heat at medium. While oil is heating, grease a large oven pan and flour an area next to the stove (you’re setting up your little falafel factory’s production line!)
- With some flour on your hands, start scooping falafel out of the (unplugged!) food processor and shaping it into patties or balls. Set on floured surface.
- Drop falafel balls into the oil, cooking for about 2 minutes on each side to make the outside nice and crispy. Don’t worry about cooking the falafel through, you’ll do that later!
- Transfer cooked falafel to lightly greased pan, and put it in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Remove falafel from pan, and use a towel to absorb excess grease. Enjoy!
- If your falafel isn’t sticking together in the oil, add more flour to the “dough”.
- If you have extra time, you can refrigerate falafel balls before frying them. This may also help them stay together. (I was impatient and took my chances, but it worked fine anyways)
- If you don’t like to fry foods (it can be scary in a multitude of ways, hot oil freaks me out sometimes), feel free to bake these falafel balls or patties in your oven! 10 minutes on each side should do it.