Wednesday 19 April 2017

Falafel 2017.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Anybody else think yesterday was Monday?

As much as I love a good bank holiday, it always leaves me feeling very confused for the rest of the week.
I thought yesterday was Monday and so completely forgot to prep this falafel recipe to post today. Alhamdulillah though, I've been getting my act together blogging wise and so because I edited and uploaded the photos at the weekend, all I had to do was write the recipe out.

I first posted a falafel recipe on the blog way back in 2013. The recipe was ok but had its issues. It used tinned chickpeas, an egg and no flour which would sometimes result in a very wet mixture. I've tested quite a few recipes since. I think I even tried baking them once. It wasn't until I tried this version using dried chickpeas that I was finally happy.
Dried chickpeas are just like dried lentils. You have to soak them before use to soften them up. Unlike their tinned counterparts, they've not been sat in liquid for a long time and so keep the falafel mixture on the drier side resulting in a falafel that holds its shape when frying. Speaking of frying, I got away with shallow frying these falafel in not a lot of oil but you could try the traditional deep-fry method too. Let me know if you do.
As much as I love these falafel, it is their side dishes that steal the show. Pickled chilli onions, a preserved lemon Greek yoghurt, diced cucumber herb salad, plenty of chilli sauce and my favourite flatbreads to wrap everything up in. The perfect vegetarian feast!

A Simple List of Ingredients:
1. Dried Chickpeas
2. Ground Cumin
3. Ground Coriander
4. Onion
5. Garlic
6. Fresh Coriander
7. Fresh Parsley
8. Bicarbonate of Soda
9. Ground Cinnamon
10. Salt 
11. Black Pepper
12. Plain Flour
13. Lemon Juice

Bismillah, let's begin!

I made these falafel with dried chickpeas because I find that they are drier and so the falafel are less likely to break apart or be soggy when frying.

You can buy dried chickpeas in most Asian stores. I know I'll be asked about whether tinned chickpeas can be used. I've not tried this recipe with them but I don't see why not. Use the same amount of tinned chickpeas but drain them really well and pat them dry to get rid of any extra moisture before proceeding with the recipe. Let me know how you get on!

If you're using dried chickpeas, you'll need to soak them. Take 180g Dried Chickpeas and soak them in a large bowl with plenty of water. The chickpeas will plump up as they soak.

Let them soak for 10 hours or overnight. I left mine overnight and look how they plumped up!

The falafel mixture itself is so easy because all the ingredients get thrown into the food processor.

Drain the soaked chickpeas really well.

And, add them to the processor.

The main ingredient is in so let's add in the seasonings!

Add in 2 and 1/2 teaspoons Ground Cumin.

Along with 1 and 1/4 tablespoon Ground Coriander.

Peel and roughly chopped 1 small Onion and throw it in.

For more flavour, in go 4 Garlic Slices, peeled and roughly sliced.

For more fresh flavour, in goes a small handful of Fresh Coriander and a small handful of Fresh Parsley - both roughly chopped.

To help the falafel puff up slightly when cooking, in goes 1/4 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda. You may also use the same amount of baking powder instead of the bicarb, if you wish.

Let's also add in 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon.

Along with 1 and 1/2 teaspoon Salt.

And, plenty of Black Pepper, to taste.

To help to bind things together, add in 50g Plain Flour.

Last but not least, in goes 1 and 1/2 tablespoon Lemon Juice.

Once everything is in ...

... pop on the lid and whizz!

Blend until really well combined.

Once well combined, check the consistency by shaping a little of the mixture into a small patty.

If things are not sticking together, add in a little more plain flour. I went with 2 tablespoons.

Blend and check the consistency again.

The mixture should be well combined but still a little grainy. It's better not to add too much extra flour as that will make the falafel hard when they're fried.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl and we are ready to fry!

Falafel are traditionally deep-fried but I like to shallow-fry mine. Heat a large pan over a medium heat with enough Vegetable Oil to cover the surface.

Shape the mixture into small patties using about 2 tablespoons per falafel. If you find that the mixture is difficult to work with, you can chill it in the fridge for a little while. You can make the patties as big or as small as you want. I made 20 small falafel with my mixture.

Fry the falafel for around 2 minutes per side or until golden brown.

Drain the falafel on paper towels and continue making the rest.

Now that the falafel are ready, let's talk sides! You can serve the falafel however you want and this is how we served them!

I love these pickled chilli onions and make them by whisking together 115ml warm water, 60ml apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar. Then, stir in 1 peeled and thinly sliced red onion and 1 thinly sliced green chilli. Let the onions sit at room temperature for an hour but you can eat them straight away, if you want.

I also made this herb cucumber salad by mixing together a small handful of chopped mint, chopped parsley and chopped coriander. Stir in 1/2 large deseeded and diced cucumber, 1/2 teaspoon sumac, salt and black pepper, to taste. Finally, stir in enough extra-virgin olive oil to coat the cucumber.

I also made a preserved lemon Greek yoghurt.

Preserved lemons are a great cupboard staple as they add great flavour to everything. They're pickled and sour.

I made my yoghurt by simply stirring together 200g Greek yoghurt, 3 finely chopped preserved lemons, 2 peeled and finely chopped garlic cloves, salt and black pepper, to taste.

Crack more black pepper on top and it's ready for a little falafel dunking.

Finally, I made my favourite wholemeal pitta flatbreads. I divided the dough into 6 pieces and rolled into pitta shapes.

Look at how they puffed up!

Ready to stuff with falafel!

Once everything is ready, we can eat!

Grab a pitta.

Dollop with lots of the preserved lemon yoghurt.

To spice things up, some chilli sauce.

On went the cucumber herb salad.

Time for the falafel which I broke up so you guys can see the texture.

Pop on as much falafel as you like.

Along with plenty of the pickled chilli onions.

Time to eat!

I love these falafel because they make such a great vegetarian meal and you don't miss the meat one bit. They're crunchy on the outside but soft in the middle. Paired with the warm flatbreads and the side dishes, they're one of my favourite things to make.

Falafel 2017.

Prep Time: About 45 minutes + overnight to soak the chickpeas.
Cook Time: About 15 minutes.
Serves: About 5 people.


For the Falafel
180g Dried Chickpeas
2 and 1/2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
1 and 1/4 tablespoon Ground Coriander
1 small Onion, peeled and roughly chopped
4 Garlic Cloves, peeled and roughly sliced
Small handful Fresh Coriander, roughly chopped
Small handful Fresh Parsley, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 and 1/2 teaspoon Salt
Black Pepper, to taste
50g Plain Flour
1 and 1/2 tablespoon Lemon Juice
Vegetable Oil, to shallow-fry

Side Dishes! They're optional but we love them with our falafel!

For the Pickled Chilli Onions
115ml Warm Water
60ml Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 Red Onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 Green Chilli, thinly sliced

For the Herb Cucumber Salad
Small handful Fresh Mint, chopped
Small handful Fresh Parsley, chopped
Small handful Fresh Coriander, chopped
1/2 large Cucumber, deseeded and diced
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, to taste
Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon Sumac

For the Preserved Lemon Greek Yoghurt
200g Greek Yoghurt
3 Preserved Lemons, finely chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, peeled and finely chopped
Salt and Black Pepper, to taste

To Serve
Chilli Sauce
Your Favourite Flatbreads - I made my wholemeal pitta flatbreads.

Soak the chickpeas:
Place the dried chickpeas into a large bowl and cover with plenty of water. Soak them for at least 10 hours or overnight. Drain them well.

Mix up the falafel:
In a food processor, place the drained chickpeas along with all the ingredients except the vegetable oil. Blend until really well combined. Check the consistency by trying to make a small patty with your hands. If the mixture doesn't stick together, add an extra 2 tablespoons plain flour. Blend and check again. The mixture should be combined but will still be a little grainy. It's better not to add any more flour after this because the falafel will become quite hard when cooked.

Cook the falafel:
Heat a large pan over a medium heat and add in enough vegetable oil to cover the base of the pan. Form the mixture into small patties - about 2 tablespoons mixture per falafel. You can make them bigger, if you wish. Fry for 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and continue with rest. You may also deep-fry the falafel, if you wish.

To make the pickled chilli onions:
In a bowl, whisk together the warm water, vinegar, salt and sugar. Stir in the onion and green chilli. Let the onions sit at room temperature for an hour but you can eat them straight away too.

To make the herb cucumber salad:
In a bowl, mix together everything except the olive oil. Add enough olive oil to just coat the cucumber and mix.

To make the preserved lemon Greek yoghurt:
In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients.

For the flatbreads:
I made my wholemeal pitta flatbreads but divided the dough into 6 balls instead of 8. I also rolled them in pitta shapes which resulted in a fluffier bread.

To serve:
Wrap the falafel in warm flatbread with plenty of chilli sauce, yoghurt, pickled onions and herb cucumber salad. Eat!

{adapted from my name is yeh}

This Time One Year Ago:

This Time Two Years Ago:

This Time Three Years Ago:
pizza margherita.

This Time Four Years Ago:
strawberry pavlova.

Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your falafel!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

Spice Enthusiast
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