Falafel is an exquisite Middle Eastern food, beloved for both its delectable taste and nutritional benefits. As an all-vegetarian dish, it consists of chickpeas/fava beans mixed with herbs and spices that is formed into small balls/patties before deep-frying until crisp on the outside but soft inside.
It may have first originated in Egypt, where its recipe first included using fava beans as its primary ingredient. Over time however, chickpeas became the primary choice used for creating it in many parts of the Middle East.
This is a staple food in Middle Eastern nations and often enjoyed as street food or served at restaurants and cafes as an afternoon snack. Typically it comes served with pita bread, hummus, tahini sauce, fresh vegetables such as lettuce tomatoes and cucumbers for topping.
Ingredients Used in Making Falafel
It is made using chickpeas, herbs and spices as its core ingredients. Chickpeas should be soaked overnight to soften them up before being combined with the other ingredients in a food processor for grinding.
Flavored herbs and spices used in falafel production include parsley, cilantro, cumin, coriander and garlic – each providing its own distinct taste to give it that perfect crunch!
Other ingredients that can be added to it include onions, sesame seeds and baking powder for its characteristic crispy texture.
Learning How to Make Falafel
lts making is relatively straightforward and can be completed in just a few steps, here is an easy recipe for homemaking falafel at home:
Ingredients for This Recipe:
- 2 cups of dried chickpeas
- 1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons of ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Oil for frying
Soak the chickpeas overnight in cold water, using cold temperatures as you soak.
Drain and combine chickpeas in a food processor along with parsley, cilantro, onion, garlic cloves, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, baking powder, salt and pepper for best results.
Pulse the mixture until a coarse paste forms, taking care not to over-process it.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so it can set and become firm.
Form the mixture into small balls or patties using either your hands or a falafel scoop.
Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or deep fryer.
Once your oil is hot, drop falafel balls or patties carefully into it and fry them until golden-brown and crisp on the outside, which should take approximately 2-3 minutes.
Take out your falafel from the oil using a slotted spoon, placing them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil, and put back in.
Serve immediately with pita bread, hummus, tahini sauce and your selection of fresh vegetables.
Nutritional Value of Falafel
lt is an extremely healthy and nutritional dish, rich in proteins, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. Chickpeas – the primary ingredient used in falafel production – provide an abundance of proteins; one cup of cooked chickpeas yields around 15 grams.
This is also an excellent source of fiber, with each serving providing approximately 5 grams. Fiber plays an essential role in maintaining digestive health and helping you feel full and satisfied throughout the day.
l is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, providing sustained energy and helping to regulate blood sugar levels. Furthermore, falafel contains minimal fat content – making it a nutritious choice for anyone looking to limit their fat consumption.
This can be high in calories if deep-fried and should only be consumed sparingly if you’re counting your calorie intake.
Variations of Falafel
While classic it may consist of chickpeas, herbs, and spices, there are various variations you can try that vary from this original dish. Some popular variations are:
Fava Bean Falafel
This version of falafel features fava beans instead of chickpeas for an innovative Egyptian dish.
For a colorful variation of falafel with sweet earthy flavor, consider using beets in its preparation. They add color as well as sweet earthiness!
This variation of falafel features spinach for an added source of greens! Try this delectable treat today to add a nutritious boost to your daily meals!
Sweet Potato Falafel
For an irresistibly creamy dessert treat, add sweet potatoes to this variation of falafel.
For an alternative gluten-free option of falafel with an irresistibly nutty texture, try this Quinoa Falafel variation made with quinoa! It adds an irresistibly nutty taste that you won’t find elsewhere!
lt is an elegant Middle Eastern dish with worldwide recognition, beloved among vegetarians for its tasty yet simple preparation and adaptability to fit into different culinary cultures. Easy and customizable according to individual taste preferences, this will soon become your new go-to dish!
It is an excellent and healthy meal option to try if you’re in the mood for some Middle Eastern cuisine – enjoy both its flavors and nutritional benefits when giving it a try! Hope now you know What is falafel.