Homemade Lebanese Falafel
Who doesn't love a good falafel? It's filling, tasty, and even vegetarians go a little crazy for it. Here in Philly, there's a convenience store near the El (elevated rail train) called Liberty Choice that has a takeout restaurant attached, and they specialize in middle eastern cuisine. Hands down the best falafel sandwich in the city. The recipe we used for the show was adapted from one we found that best resembled what you can get from Liberty Choice.
~Courtesy of Mama's Lebanese Kitchen~
- 1lb of dry fava beans
- 3/4 lb dried chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)
- 1 bunch of Italian parsley (chop away the stems)
- 2 bunches of green cilantro (chop away the stems)
- 8-10 cloves of freshly peeled garlic, crushed
- 1 large red or yellow onion
- 1 bunch of green onions
- 2 Tbsp of salt
- A dash of black pepper
- 2 Tbsp of flour
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- 1 dash of red chilli pepper (optional, if spicy falafel is desired)
- 1 tsp of cumin
- 3 tsp of Coriander
- Hydrate both beans overnight by submerging them in cold tap water in separate airtight containers.
- After 8+ hours, drain and Rinse
- Run the fava beans through the food processor until they look like bread crumbs. Set aside.
- Do the same for the chickpeas; add to fava bean bowl.
- Combine the garlic, red & green onions, parsley, cilantro, coriander, salt, peppers and flour in the food processor and run for a couple of minutes until they turn into a paste.
- Add the paste to the container with the fava beans and Chickpeas and knead everything together with hands until it reaches a doughy texture. If it feels dry add a bit of water and knead to distribute.
- A few minutes prior to frying, sprinkle baking soda on the falafel mix, knead and let rest. When ready heat 1 inch deep of cooking oil in a frying pan on medium heat
- While the oil is heating, make small balls of falafel (we went with a smushed golf ball size to better fit them into a pita)
- Add 6 falafel balls at a time to the oil.
- Fry for a few minutes until the falafel turns brownish and crispy then scoop them out place on a paper towel or in a colander and to dry out the extra oil.
- 2 Tbsp of Tahini Paste
- 1 cup of freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- a dash of salt
- Mix the Tahini sauce ingredients in the blender or food processor until they reach a homogeneous texture.
- Sample to ensure a balance of flavors. A good Falafel Tahini sauce should taste a bit tangy with a hint of garlic and be a creamy, white-ish color.
- Serve as a side/dip.