We make no secret that we think the humble chickpea is a superfood. This has been our staple falafel recipe for many years. It must be made with soaked, dried chickpeas. We tried it with canned chickpeas and the mix does not hold together – so do not attempt it!
Adapted from Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sam Tamimi
- 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) dried chickpeas
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion (about 1/2 onion, or 80 grams)
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 3 Tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 Tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons besan flour
- about 3 cups (750 mL) flavourless oil, for deep-frying
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds, for coating
- The night before, place chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with cold water at least twice their volume. Set aside to soak overnight.
- The next day, drain the chickpeas well and pour them into a food processor. Add in the onion, garlic, parsley, and coriander. Blitz the mixture until everything is finely chopped, but not overly mushy or pasty. It should be able to hold itself together.
- Add in the spices, baking powder, salt, flour, and water. Mix using a wooden spoon until well-blended and smooth. Cover the mixture and leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Fill a deep, heavy-bottomed pan with enough oil to come up to 2-3/4 inches on the side of the pan. Heat the oil up to 350°F (180°C).
- Meanwhile, with wet hands press 1 Tablespoon of the mixture in the palm of your hand to form a fat oblong-ish patty. (The ball would be about 25 grams in weight.)
- Sprinkle the balls evenly with sesame seed and deep-fry in batches of two to three for 4 minutes, until well-browned and cooked through. Giving the patties enough time in the oil will dry them out on the inside, preventing them from falling apart once lifted from the oil.
- Drain cooked patties in colander and serve immediately while hot. Serve with warm pita bread and lettuce, or with quinoa.