Falafel

What is falafel?

Falafel is truly a wonderful dish that has captured the hearts of many. Although historically unknown of where falafel comes from, Egypt is the theorized origin of this delicious food. Falafel is widely popular across the middle east. It was introduced to Europe and the US as comfort food spreading to family restaurants and becoming easily accessible street food.

Falafel is a dish composed of dry chick peas, split dry fava beans and a mixture of spices. It can be eaten as a vegetarian dish, or meat can be added to the mixture. These ingredients are mixed together in a food processor, then molded into balls and fried. It can be served as a platter on top of hummus or with the fixings on the side.

By far the most popular way to eat falafel is in sandwich form. Just take 2 or three falafel balls and spread them on pita bread. You then add shredded lettuce, chopped parsley, pickled turnips, fresh sliced tomatoes and sliced mikti, which is a pickled middle eastern cucumber. Top all this with tarator, which is a tahini sauce made from ground sesame (tahini), lemon juice and garlic.

Making Falafel at Home? Yes!

Although a popular dish, up until now, falafel making has been a gruesome task involving a lot of work. Falafel can now be made easily at home using the proper products and Utensils.

If you're feeling adventurous try this falafel recipe here, however the Lebanon Valley falafel mix is the perfect blend to use at home. The mix includes all the ingredients needed to make falafel in one package. Just add water and Hashem's falafel seasoning to enhance the flavor. Our seasoning includes ingredients such as cumin, coriander, marjoram, allspice cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

If making the Lebanon Valley Falafel Mix follow the instructions below.

  • 1.  Preheat vegetable oil to between 350 to 175°F (175 to 190°C)
  • 2.  Add 1 cup of water to the contents of the package and mix well. Keep adding water in small amounts until you can roll mixture into a ball. You want a slightly moist interior in the ball.
  • 3.  Press the release spring down on the falafel mold and scope the mixture into it using the provided scooping handle and form it into the mold being careful not to pack it tight. The looser you pack the falafel mix into the mold, the better the texture you will end up with.
  • 4.  Drop mixture into the oil by releasing the handle and fry until brown on the outside.
  • 5.  Split a pita in half by tearing apart to end up with two full circles. Lay the pita flat and crush two or three falafel balls from one end to the other.
  • 6.  Add shredded lettuce, chopped parsley, pickled turnips, fresh sliced tomatoes and sliced mikti, which is a pickled middle eastern cucumber.
  • 7.  Top all this with tarator, which is a tahini sauce made from ground sesame (tahini), lemon juice and garlic. You can easily make this sauce using this tarator tahini recipe from Faith Gorsky.

Roll the pita and serve! Falafel goes very well with hummus and fries. Enjoy!

Recipes

Falafel

Ingredients

Serves 4 to 6
Preparation Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes, plus 12 to 24 hours to soak the chickpeas
Cooking Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

1 cup (½ lb/250 g) dried chickpeas
1 onion, finely diced
3-4 large cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon Hashems Falafel Spice
½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
¼ bunch fresh parsley leaves, minced
½ teaspoon baking powder
4-6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Oil, for frying
Sesame Tahini Sauce (link to recipe below)
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Directions

1.  Soak the chickpeas in cold water for 12 to 24 hours; drain. After soaking, add them to a medium pot with fresh water bring up to a boil, then turn the heat down slightly and cook until they're easy to mash with your fingers, about 1 to 2 hours; adding more water as necessary so that they're always immersed; drain. Pick through the beans to remove any skins you find.
2.  Add the chickpeas, onion, falafel spice, garlic, salt, cumin, and red pepper flakes to a food processor and pulse until it forms a chunky paste (do not purée it; alternatively, this can be done by hand using a large mortar and pestle). Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the parsley. Sprinkle in the baking powder and gradually add enough flour to form a dough, being careful not to over-mix. Cover the bowl and refrigerate 1 hour.
3.  Add about 3 inches (7.5 cm) of oil to a medium saucepan; heat the oil to between 350 to 375°F (175 to 190°C). As the oil heats, shape the fritters with a falafel mold or with 2 spoons, gently scraping them against each other to form shaped falafels. Click here to see our brass falafel molds...
4.  Fry the falafel in batches so the pan doesn't get overcrowded. Fry each batch until golden brown outside and fully cooked inside, about 4 to 6 minutes, and then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil. Repeat this process until all the batter is fried.
5.  Serve immediately, with a drizzle of Sesame Tahini Sauce and a sprinkle of parsley on top, if using.

Sesame Tahini Sauce Recipe


Recipe courtesy of An Edible Mosaic:  Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair by Faith Gorsky(Tuttle Publishing; 

Nov. 2012); reprinted with permission.

 

Falafel Products

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Contact

Hashems
Nuts & Coffee Gallery
13041 W. Warren Ave Dearborn, MI 48126 View Map
Phone:
1-313-581-3212
Fax:
1-313-582-2577
Email:
info@hashems.com
Hashems Nuts and Coffee Gallery is a Middle Eastern Foods company. Our main offerings include: Turkish Coffee, Roasted Nuts, Middle Eastern Spices, Baklava, Fresh Baked Pita Bread and many other traditional specialty foods.