I remember the first time I had Falafel. I was in high school and working at a veterinarian’s office for the summer and on my lunch break I would go to a little family run place called “Café Joe” that was a few blocks away. They made the most amazing Falafel from scratch and I remember just loving the texture and taste. It was crispy and fried but tasted fresh and light. When I stopped working there and went back to school I would go out of my way to visit at times until one day I went by and they had sold the restaurant. When I left my mom’s and headed into my own place, I would buy those dry mixes to make falafel at home but it was never the same. It tasted… well.. processed and from a box mix. However, a few years ago I found this recipe and have never looked back. This is the good stuff…  This is it.

This recipe calls for dried chickpeas… you really need to use dried chickpeas. Canned chickpeas just won’t work… the reason? not because it is snobbish,  but because the mix is actually made with uncooked soaked chickpeas. Cooking them (or using canned) will not result in the right texture or flavour. The down side to that is that you do have to think ahead.

So… for the Falafel…

  • 2 cups dried Chickpeas/Garbanzo beans  (soaked for 12-24 hours)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 -3 garlic cloves
  • 2 -3 slices bread
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 1/3 red pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes *optional
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50 ml water
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 125 ml water
  • vegetable oil ( for deep-frying)
When your chickpeas have soaked long enough, drain and put in the food processor. Add onion, garlic, bread, parsley, and red sweet pepper. and process until mealy. Move to a bowl (or use the pulse mode on processor) and Add spices, flour,  2 tsp baking powder and water and mix well.
In a small dish mix the remaining baking powder and water. Dip your hands in the water and form balls of the chickpea mixture the size of walnuts.
Deep fry in oil at medium high heat until golden brown.
Frying the Falafel
Crispy on the outside and soft and fresh tasting on the inside
Serve on warm pita bread with Taratoor sauce (recipe below) and any other toppings you might enjoy (parsley, tomato, pickled turnips etc)…

For the Taratoor Sauce

  • 3/4 cup tahini
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Juice of 1 –  1 1/2 lemons
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped parsley
In a deep bowl beat the tahini with the crushed garlic and lemon juice until creamy. Add water bit by bit, beating well after each addition. If using blender / food processor put all the ingredients in and process until creamy. Add salt and parsley and stir. Taste and adjust. The sauce should have some tang to it not too lemony.