The wonderful texture of the falafel comes from using dried chickpeas that are soaked overnight to soften and cooked by frying in hot oil. Using canned chickpeas or baking instead of frying will produce results that pale in comparison. These mezze favourites are incredibly simple to mix together and once formed into individual patties can be frozen on a tray and stored in a reusable container in the freezer as a way of having them on hand at all times for a good few months. They can just as easily be fried from frozen and warmed through in the oven if needs be.
375g dried chickpeas
3 spring onions
A large handful each of mint and parsley
6 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 litres of vegetable oil for frying
1. Place chickpeas in a large container and cover with enough water to allow the chickpeas to expand in size and still be submerged, roughly 3 times as much water as chickpeas. Allow to soak overnight.
2. Dry off the chickpeas and place into the bowl of a food processor with herbs, spring onions, garlic and crushed cumin and coriander seeds. Pulse the food processor until a coarse paste is formed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. The consistency should be such that you can squeeze a ball of the mix together in the palm of your hand.
3. Remove the mixture from the food processor into a bowl, cover and allow to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
4. Once rested, take a tablespoon's worth of the mixture and use your hands to shape into small balls or patties and arrange on a lined tray.
5. Carefully fill a large pot no more than half way with oil suitable for frying and heat up until the oil reaches 190°c
6. Carefully place each falafel in one at a time, evenly spaced out. Work in batches so as not to overcrowd the pot. If the temperature drops, adjust the heat accordingly.
7. Cook for roughly 3-4 minutes or until evenly browned. Remove with a spider and drain on paper towel or a wire rack. Season with salt as soon as they come out and serve immediately.