Doaa and Freda are very serious about their research as they set about creating a new spice kit. Falafel was no exception. Eaten throughout the Middle East, each region makes it a little different. Doaa and Freda decided to go to the source after discovering that falafel originated in Egypt. They combined the influences of both Egypt and the Levant to come up with their unique spice blend. The cumin and coriander are typically the only seasonings used in Egypt. Egyptian falafel is also characterized by the heavy use of spices and herbs, whereas Levantine falafel is less heavy-handed with both. Traditionally, Egyptians would use dried, split fava rather than chickpeas to make their falafel and if you can find them, I would definitely recommend it. Either way, these fried balls of deliciousness are packed with flavor incredibly easy to make at home.
Makes approximately 18 balls
1 cup dried split fava or chickpeas, soaked for 8 hours in a bowl of cold water
1 medium onion, quartered
4 garlic cloves
4 sprigs of parsley
2 tbsp Spice Tree Organics Cairo Falafel
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp water, or more if needed
3-4 cups of oil, for frying
1. Drain the fava or chickpeas, and place them along with the other ingredients and 2 tablespoons water in a food processor. If your food processor bowl is small, pulse the chickpeas first, remove them, and then pulse the onion, garlic, and parsley.
2. Add the chickpeas back to the bowl, along with the spices, salt, baking soda, and water. Run the food processor until the mixture is well combined and finely chopped.
3. If the mixture is not coming together, add more water, a little at a time, until it does.
4. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot to 350°F.
5. Take a tablespoon of the falafel and roll it between your hands to form a ball. Press firmly so that the ball holds together and squeeze off any excess water so that you are left with compact falafel balls. Repeat until all balls are made.
6. Carefully deep fry falafel until golden brown, about 2 minutes each (fry in batches of 4 at a time to prevent over-crowding). They will puff up significantly, so do not shallow-fry these!
7. Serve hot, with tahini sauce, hummus and tabouleh salad.