World's best falafel (from a falafel fiend)
Crispy, fluffy, spicy falafel. I am a self-confessed falafel fiend. Seriously. If I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, I would probably pick this.
There's just something so perfect about the simplicity of the flavours. Chickpeas, a few basic spices, and a whole lot of fresh herbs. When done right, these golden patties hum with a balance of flavours.
Since I started making falafel at home, I find it difficult to pay for a sub-standard falafel when out and about. It's that disappointing feeling of paying for something you know you could have done better at home. So I've taken to making these in big batches, freezing them. When I can't be bothered cooking, rather than grabbing something from the local kebab shop, I pull them out of the freezer a few at a time for a quick dinner.
These are surprisingly easy to make at home. But here are a few secrets for success to help you along your way:
- Use dried chickpeas, not canned. Canned chickpeas are pre-cooked, too wet, and have a tendency to cause your falafel to fall apart when cooked. Because you will need to soak the chickpeas for 6-8 hours, you will need to think ahead. Soaking them overnight works well, or first thing in the morning, the day you plan to make your falafel. This has the added benefit of making this dish cheap as hell to make.
- The mixture itself only takes a few minutes to come together with the help of a food processor. But once it has been blitzed together you will need to chill the whole thing down for at least half an hour (but preferably up to two hours). This again is important to stop the falafel crumbling when you go to fry them.
- You will also need to deep fry these suckers. You can bake them, but the result isn't anywhere as good. Don't worry if you don't have a deep fryer - you can do it with a large pot and some vegetable oil. You want to get the oil nice and hot so that the falafel come up beautiful and golden without absorbing too much oil, but not so hot as to burn before they cook through. If you have a candy thermometer, you can use this as a gauge (you want to hit somewhere around 180C), but you don't need one - good old trial and error works a charm.
Stuffed into flat breads or simply served with rice, hummus, salad and pickles, this recipe is hard to beat. If you want to go all-out and impress, try serving with this recipe for barbeque roasted baba ganoush.