Falafel the Third

There are already two falafel recipes on this site. There’s my raw chickpea falafel recipe, and there’s my mom’s falafel recipe. (Not to mention the so-so chickpea patties I tried out.)

To add a third (fourth?) falafel recipe, it would have to supersede the other two (three?) in some way. This one does so in ingredients and ease of preparation. There are no eggs or breadcrumbs in this, as there are in mom’s falafel, and, not to be indiscreet, but it is a little easier on the digestive system than the raw chickpea falafel.

You might say, “Deep frying? How is this ease of preparation compared to the pan-frying in your mom’s recipe?”

Sure, it takes more oil, and it requires a thermometer, but it takes a lot less time, and you can actually take the temperature of your oil when deep frying, something you can’t do with pan-frying. Controlling the temperature allows you to better control how much oil is absorbed into the finished product.

These taste less greasy than the pan-fried type, when done properly.

This recipe is adapted from 1,000 Vegetarian Recipes.

3 c. cooked chickpeas (canned or cooked from dry are both fine)
1/2 c. flour (I used King Arthur White Whole Wheat)
2 T. fresh lemon juice
2 T. minced onion
6 cloves garlic
2 t. ground cumin
salt to taste (start with 1/2 t.)

oil for deep frying

Place the chickpeas, flour, parsley, lemon juice, onion, garlic, cumin, and salt in a food processor fitted with the steel S-blade. Cover and process, pulsing, until the chickpeas are broken down but not a smooth puree. (We are not making hummus here.) Turn the processed mixture out into a bowl and form into 1-inch-diameter balls.

While forming balls, set 1 1/2 in. of oil on to heat over medium-high heat in a deep saucepan.

Do as I say and not as I do; there is definitely not enough headspace for the oil in this pan. I had to take it off the heat a couple times while wearing an oven mitt to prevent it from going over and catching fire on the burner. You do not want to play these kinds of games.

Bring oil temperature to 280-300 F. Place several balls into the hot oil using a slotted spoon or spider. Cook until golden but not deeply russeted – mine took about four minutes. When checking for color, remember that the falafel will darken slightly on cooling.

Remove from oil and place on absorbent toweling. Repeat with remaining balls. Check your heat in the middle of each batch and before starting a new batch and adjust as necessary.

This made about six servings between two falafel lovers. It can be tucked into pita, the traditional way, but this time we happened to eat it sprinkled with chopped cucumbers along with garlicky cooked spinach and rice pilaf.

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