Fried Falafel with Tahini Sauce
1 pound (about 2 cups) dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans - you must start with dry, do NOT substitute canned, they will not work!
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3-5 cloves garlic (I prefer roasted)
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1 3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Pinch of ground cardamom
Vegetable oil for frying (grapeseed, canola, and peanut oil work well)
Pour the chickpeas into a large bowl and cover them by about 3 inches of cold water.
Let them soak overnight. They will double in size as they soak – you will have between 4 and 5 cups of beans after soaking.
Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans well.
Pour them into your food processor along with the chopped onion, garlic cloves, parsley, flour, salt, cumin, ground coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and cardamom.
Pulse all ingredients together until a rough, coarse meal forms.
Scrape the sides of the processor periodically and push the mixture down the sides.
Process till the mixture is somewhere between the texture of couscous and a paste.
Once the mixture reaches the desired consistency, pour it out into a bowl and use a fork to stir; this will make the texture more even throughout. Remove any large chickpea chunks that the processor missed.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
Fill a skillet with vegetable oil to a depth of 1 ½ inches.
Heat the oil slowly over medium heat.
Meanwhile, form 2 Tbls of falafel mixture into round balls or slider-shaped patties using wet hands or a falafel scoop.
The balls will stick together loosely at first, but will bind nicely once they begin to fry.
Before frying my first batch of falafel, I like to fry a test one in the center of the pan.
If the oil is at the right temperature, it will take 2-3 minutes per side to brown (5-6 minutes total).
If it browns faster than that, your oil is too hot and your falafels will not be fully cooked in the center. Cool the oil down slightly and try again.
When the oil is at the right temperature, fry the falafels in batches of 5-6 at a time till golden brown on both sides.
Once the falafels are fried, remove them from the oil using a slotted spoon.
Let them drain on paper towels.
Serve the falafels fresh and hot; they go best with a plate of hummus and topped with creamy tahini sauce.
1/2 cup tahini paste
1 Tbls lemon juice
1 garlic clove, chopped finely
1 tsp fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
Whisk or process all ingredients adding a small amount of water and increase the water until you have the consistency you desire.