Falafel is a famous Middle Eastern street food made of chickpeas. In simple words, Falafels are chickpeas fritters served either as a snack with dips like Tahini or Hummus or is tucked in the pockets of pita bread or make a burger.
The beauty of the falafels is that they are crisp from the outside but are soft from inside. And making these is also very easy because unlike other lentil fritters you donâ€™t have to beat the mixture. Just grind and make.
For vegetarians, it is a boon as chickpeas, as we all know is loaded with proteins and is a super healthy food in itself.
Falafel is rich in protein, carbohydrates, fibre and nutrients like calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C etc. Chickpeas are low in fat without any cholesterol but unfortunately falafel, being fried, absorb a lot of fat and thus the nutrients are overpowered by fat. So, if we can avoid fat then nothing like it.
Thus I tried Falafels in air fryer and they came out superb, keeping all the nutrients intact. If not air fryer, then you can make them in the oven or in an appe pan or pan fry these. But to avail full benefits of falafels, avoid frying them.
While making falafel, just keep in mind few things. First of all, the chickpeas should be properly soaked. Soak till they become double in size. Like 1 cup chickpeas when soaked easily become 2 cups. Soak overnight or for 4 to 5 hours. Shall I give you a tip? If you do not have much time then soak these in a casserole in lukewarm water, your job will be done in almost half the time.
Secondly, while grinding, keep it coarse and do not make a paste out of it. Do not use any water while grinding. As it is onions too will release some water while grinding. I prefer grinding it in my food processor. I add everythingâ€¦ soaked chickpeas, cilantro, parsley and spices in the food processor and then grind it. If you grind it in a grinder then keep a watch that they are not overdone. Also, do not add parsley, onion etc while grinding in the grinder. Just grind the chickpeas coarsely and then add all other things.
Thatâ€™s it. now add little chickpeas flour for binding. Chickpeas flour makes it gluten-free and healthy too. You can add oatmeal or all-purpose flour also instead of chickpeas flour. Keep the mixture in the refrigerator for at least half an hour. During this time starch will seep out and will facilitate the process of making balls. Though I knew its better to refrigerate the dough before forming balls but didnâ€™t know the exact reason behind this. I got this reasoning from here. After half an hour, take out the mix, make balls and cook as you wishâ€¦ air fryer or oven or deep fry or pan fry.