This is my favourite street food of all time. I have been fortunate enough to eat some of the best felafels ever in Jerusalem (it was amazing and there were felafel shops on every corner) and in Bethlehem – where we sat with local people in a tiny cafe watching these beauties being cooked in front of us. In Isreal, you can help yourself to as much salad and pickles as you can stuff in the pitta! I do believe that I am a very good judge of felafels now and these do not disappoint – as you long as you have a robust blender you are in business! 🙂
***Chickpeas need soaking overnight***
1 x large cup of dry chickpeas (approx 225g) (soaked overnight in cold water, the chickpeas will expand so place them in a large bowl where you can cover them in lots of water )
1 x bunch of fresh parsley
1 x bunch of fresh mint
1 x bunch of rocket or coriander (if you like it)
6 x large fat spring onions – chopped (chop all the green bits as well).
2 x fat cloves of garlic – grated
1 x tbsp flour
1 x tsp cumin
2 x tsp sea salt
2 x tsp black pepper
(you can basically chuck in any herbs or spices that you love)
1 – 2 cups of vegetable oil for frying
Rinse and drain the soaked chickpeas and allow to dry out (you can shake then out in a dry tea towel).
Place them in your food processor with all of the other ingredients; parsley, mint, rocket, onions, garlic, flour, cumin, salt and pepper.
Pulse the mixture until it is finely minced, you should be able to shape it into a ball (but it won’t hold together perfectly – but don’t worry it will fry well!).
Now put the mixture into a bowl, cover with cling film and pop in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to rest.
In the meantime get a heavy-based frying pan and fill with about an inch of oil and bring to a medium-high heat.
Get the falafel mixture from the fridge and form into small ball shapes (it helps to have cold wet hands) and place on a plate.
(You will probably need to fry them in batches) One by one, gently lower the balls into the hot oil and leave to brown on the bottom. Once browned (about 3-4 mins) gently turn them over and cook on the other side.
Once cooked, gently take them out and drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt whilst still piping hot.
Now the fun part, fill a pitta with humous or tahini sauce, red cabbage salad, tomatoes, cucumber etc. and add in the warm falafels and serve. Roll up your sleeves, pull up a chair and tuck in!!!!