May 1, 2014

Kayotic Falafel

Kayotic Falafel

I’ve never been able to make a really good falafel at home before I had my meat grinder, so I never did; I just grabbed some when I happened to be downtown on a shopping spree. This recipe should also work with a food processor but I haven’t tried it yet so you’re on your own if you do.

These falafel are really firm and crunchy on the outside while soft, fluffy and flavourful on the inside. Plus, and this is what I kept running into prior to using a meat-grinder; they hold their shape perfectly.

Opposed to what you might think, it doesn’t take a lot of work to make your own falafel and it’s also not the least bit complicated either. I’ve noticed that a lot of people are slightly intimidated when it comes to cooking Middle Eastern food and that’s such a shame, really, because you’re missing out. It’s not hard at all!

Whenever we eat falafel, I generously fill up the table with pita’s, creamy hummus (recipe below), simple garlic yoghurt sauce and lots of fresh vegetables such as iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and red onion and let people help themselves. Tastes fantastic and looks gorgeous to boot. Just give it a shot!

Grab my hand and I’ll show you how…

 

Ingredients:

 
Falafel:

2 cups chickpeas (rinsed en soaked overnight)
1 medium onion
2 large garlic cloves (feel free to add more)
bunch of flat leaf parsley
1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne

Optional: handful cilantro

 

Simple Hummus:

14oz/400gr can of chickpeas, rinsed
1/2 cup tahini
3 tbsp lemon juice
6 tbsp ice-cold water
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt
+
extra-virgin olive oil
sweet paprika powder

 
Garlic Yoghurt Sauce:

1 cup thick yoghurt
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt & pepper
+
extra-virgin olive oil
finely sliced flat-leaf parsley
coarsely cracked black pepper

Extra’s:

roughly 4 to 6 cups oil for frying (I prefer grape-seed or peanut oil)
lots of pita bread
iceberg lettuce
thinly sliced red onion rings
tomatoes
cucumber

 

Directions:

Pick out the ugly, misshapen en bad-looking chickpeas and toss hem. Rinse the rest well and soak them overnight (at last 10 hours) in lots of water because they’ll double in volume!
Kayotic Falafel

 
Then it dawned on me I’d forgotten to soak some peas for the hummus as well. Good thing my head is firmly attached to my body, or I’d forget that, too.
 

So I just used a 14oz can cooked chickpeas, rinsed them and added them to the food processor along with 1 garlic clove.
Kayotic Falafel

Add 1/2 cup, or 8 tbsp as I did, tahini.
Kayotic Falafel

In goes the ground cumin and cayenne pepper. You’ll get a very pure, basic hummus with these quantities.
Kayotic Falafel

Add the lemon juice, ice-water and salt and here comes the trick, leave your machine running for 5 full minutes.
Kayotic Falafel

This makes for an amazingly creamy hummus. Transfer to a bowl and store in the fridge.
Kayotic Falafel

 
Over the past year or so I’ve tried various grinding techniques and combinations. You need to grind the mixture twice to get the best result. Some people run it through a fine hole plate (4.5mm) twice, for me this didn’t work out well because they fell apart during deep-frying.
 

I get the best results by first using the large hole plate (8mm).
Kayotic Falafel

Drain the chickpeas, coarsely chop an onion, grab 2 large garlic cloves (or more) and get your flat-leaf parsley ready.
Kayotic Falafel

 
You can also add a handful cilantro if you like. I just can’t eat that stuff, so I never do.
 

Alternate between chickpeas, onion, garlic and parsley when grinding it for the first time.
Kayotic Falafel

It’ll be a coarse mixture at first.
Kayotic Falafel

This is what it’ll look like when you’re done. Well, not done done, you know.
Kayotic Falafel

Change to a small hole plate (4.5mm).
Kayotic Falafel

And run the mixture through it again. It’ll turn beautifully green.
Kayotic Falafel

That’s all. Well, almost.
Kayotic Falafel

In a bowl you combine the salt, ground cumin, ground coriander, cayenne, black pepper and cardamom.
Kayotic Falafel

 
These amounts make for a really tasty yet mellow falafel that anyone will like. Want to spice things up? Just add some more heat!
 

Stir the flour and baking powder in with the seasonings.
Kayotic Falafel

Mix it in with your hands and you’re all done.
Kayotic Falafel

Pour your oil of choice in a heavy pan. We’ll be frying at 180Cº (355Fº).
Kayotic Falafel

I use a small ice scoop to get equal sized portions. Form the falafel mixture into a round ball, log or Mickey Mouse ears. Whatever makes your skirt fly up.
Kayotic Falafel

Once the oil is hot carefully drop the falafel in there. Don’t overcrowd the pan!
Kayotic Falafel

Bake them, depending on their size, for 5 to 6 minutes. Until crunchy and brown.
Kayotic Falafel

You can make your own or be like me and pop a few pre-made pita’s into a hot oven. I’m really good at that!
Kayotic Falafel

Grab a cup of thick yoghurt, squeeze in a garlic clove, pour in 1 tbsp lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle olive oil all over and finish with freshly cracked black pepper and chopped parsley. Fantastic sauce.
Kayotic Falafel

I place several falafel filled bowls randomly on the table.
Kayotic Falafel

Don’t forget to top the hummus with olive oil and sweet paprika powder. I also sprinkle chili Falksalt all over, it’s divine.
Kayotic Falafel

 
Finally, open up a pita, fill the pocket with a spoonful of hummus, add some lettuce, tomato and red onion, the falafel (I break them in half for easier eating) and finish with the garlic yoghurt sauce and dig in.
 

Sighs a deep, happy sigh.
Kayotic Falafel

Wow, is it done? Am I done? Yes, it’s really done! This posting was a wee bit more work than I anticipated, but I love how it turned out.

Kayotic Falafel
Ingredients
    Falafel:

    2 cups chickpeas (rinsed en soaked overnight)
    1 medium onion
    2 large garlic cloves (feel free to add more)
    bunch of flat leaf parsley
    1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1 1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp ground coriander
    1/4 tsp cardamom
    1/4 tsp ground black pepper
    1/4 tsp cayenne

    Optional: handful cilantro

    Simple Hummus:

    14oz/400gr can of chickpeas, rinsed
    1/2 cup tahini
    3 tbsp lemon juice
    6 tbsp ice-cold water
    1 garlic clove
    1/2 tsp ground cumin
    1/4 tsp cayenne
    1/2 tsp salt
    +
    extra-virgin olive oil
    sweet paprika powder

     

    Garlic Yoghurt Sauce:

    1 cup thick yoghurt
    1 garlic clove
    1 tbsp lemon juice
    salt & pepper
    +
    extra-virgin olive oil
    finely sliced flat-leaf parsley
    coarsely cracked black pepper

    Extra’s:

    roughly 4 to 6 cups oil for frying (I prefer grape-seed or peanut oil)
    lots of pita bread
    iceberg lettuce
    thinly sliced red onion rings
    tomatoes
    cucumber

Directions
    Pick out the ugly, misshapen en bad-looking chickpeas and toss them. Rinse the rest well and soak them overnight (at last 10 hours) in lots of water because they’ll double in volume!

    Rinse the canned chickpeas and add them to your food processor along with the 1/2 cup tahini, 1 garlic clove, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, lemon juice and ice water. Let the machine run for 5 full minutes for the creamiest hummus. Transfer to a bowl and store in the fridge.

    Set up your meat grinder with a large hole plate (8mm). Drain the chickpeas, coarsely chop an onion, grab 2 large garlic cloves (or more) and get your flat-leaf parsley ready. Alternate between chickpeas, onion, garlic and parsley when grinding it for the first time. Change to a small hole plate (4.5mm) and tun the mixture through it again.

    In a bowl you combine the salt, ground cumin, ground coriander, cayenne, black pepper, cardamom, flour and baking powder. Mix it into the falafel mixture and knead well. Pour your oil of choice in a heavy pan. We’ll be frying at 180Cº (355Fº). I use a small ice scoop to get equal sized portions. Form the falafel mixture into a round balls. Once the oil is hot carefully drop the falafel in there. Don’t overcrowd the pan! Bake them, depending on their size, for 5 to 6 minutes. Until crunchy and brown.

    Grab a cup of thick yoghurt, squeeze in a garlic clove, pour in 1 tbsp lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle olive oil all over and finish with freshly cracked black pepper and chopped parsley. Right before serving you drizzle olive oil all over the hummus and finish with a good sprinkling of swete paprika pwoder and, optionally, some coarse sea salt.

    Finally, open up a pita, fill the pocket with a spoonful of hummus, add some lettuce, tomato and red onion, the falafel (I break them in half for easier eating) and finish with the garlic yoghurt sauce and dig in!

Meal type: Lunch, Dinner, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
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