Falafel is best when it’s crispy on the outside and green on the inside. Here’s how I make my favorite Falafel recipe. If you’d like to enjoy your falafel in the morning, you’ve got to prep the night before. This is a fairly large recipe because the point is you make a big batch once and freeze what you don’t use for later use. Here we goooo!
1 cup dried split fava beans (here’s an example of what they look like)
3 cups dried chickpeas (4 cups chickpeas if you don’t have the fava beans on hand)
2 bunches flat leaf parsley
1 bunch cilantro
1 large onion, roughly chopped
7-8 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
1-2 tablespoons raw sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (for every 3 1/2 to 4 cups of falafel dough)
Shatta, to taste
In two separate bowls, soak the fava beans and chickpeas for 10+ hours. You’re going to need a large bowl and a loooot of water. The beans (especially the chickpeas) are going to soak up the water and expand. I always like doing this before I go to bed so it’s ready when I wake up.
Thoroughly wash the flat leaf parsley (You might be wondering if you can use curly parsley — I have not tried it, so not sure how it would affect the recipe) and cilantro. Pat dry, set aside.
Roughly chop up the onion and peel the garlic cloves, set aside. I like to place the greens, onion and garlic into a large tray where all of them are within reach.
Transfer the soaked fava beans and chickpeas to a strainer and rinse. Set aside next to the herbs, onions, and garlic.
With this recipe, you’re going to need a food processor. The way it works is pretty simple — Take a little bit of each ingredient and process them together in batches. Transfer each batch to the same large bowl. Keep repeating this until you have used up all the ingredients. It doesn’t matter if one batch is greener than the other, or more garlicky or oniony than the other — all of it is going to the same big bowl and you’re going to mix it all up in the end anyway.
At this point you should have a big-big bowl of falafel mix. Get in there with you hands and mix it thoroughly so all the flavors are well mixed. The consistency should be similar to something like a dough or that of wet-sand. You should be able to pick it up and shape it into a ball with your hands.
Season with the measurements listed above, and then adjust as needed. I often take one bite of the mix and then adjust.
If you’re using the whole mix in one sitting (maybe you’re having a big breakfast party):
Add 1 to 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and mix. If you like things spicy, you can add shatta (red chili paste/sauce) or dried red chili flakes, to taste. The baking soda will help the falafel get that nice, puffed up look. But if you’re using too much it gives off a metallic taste.
If you’d like to use some and freeze the rest:
Transfer the mix you’d like to save into a couple freezer-safe plastic bags, remove as much air out of it as possible. Place into your freezer. It should be good for up to 6 months or maybe more.
Season the mix you’d like to use with baking soda. A 1/2 teaspoon for every 3 1/2 – 4 cups of falafel mix should be plenty. Add optional shatta or red chili flakes to taste.
Shaping and Frying
To shape the falafel, I find it simplest to use my hands and roll them up into balls and flattening them ever so slightly to achieve the traditional shape. You can also purchase a falafel shaper tool and use that if you prefer. Transfer the raw falafel balls to a tray lined with parchment paper.
Heat up vegetable oil over medium-high heat. You need just enough oil so that the falafel is fully submerged. Once the oil is hot, fry the falafel in batches. The exterior should turn a golden or slightly darker brown when ready. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel and let it cool slightly.
The exterior should be crunchy and inside light in texture and green.
How to deal with the frozen mix on a later day:
Remove the frozen falafel mix from the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge overnight. Leave it in the same bag, no need to remove it quite yet. The next morning, transfer the falafel mix to a bowl. Add baking soda and optional shatta and fry.