Well, hi! It's been a minute (or seven years, who can say!) since we last touched base. Above all else, thank you so much for sending me pictures of all the Liz Koman-approved brisket and latkes you made over the holidays! We adored it! It warmed our dark, dark Koman hearts.
Anyway! We're back. Well, I'm back. I made falafel for the fourth episode of Slightly Kosher, but I did not make it under my mom's guidance. This recipe comes from a few of my cousins, one of my uncles, and a family friend/Palestinian chef (who is a bit internet-shy). In fact, that aforementioned crew operated a falafel restaurant for quite a few years down the shore (...of New Jersey. Have you watched anything I've ever produced for this site?) and they were well-known for making the best fast falafel in the area.
The beauty of an at-home falafel is that it's (1) easy, (2) quick, (3) feels restaurant-worthy, and (4) good for literally any occasion—as I mention in the video above, this is not a food pegged to any kind of holiday celebration; falafel is eaten across the Middle East (and world!) because it's a delicious, protein-lite vegetarian dish that goes with just about anything.
Having sold you so hard, I assume you want the recipe, yeah? OK, fine. Here it is, as converted by my brain from a restaurant version which typically yielded 200-300 balls of falafel. My parsing down of the loose recipe provided gave me about 20 nice-sized falafel.
Cover and soak 1 3/4 cups of dried chickpeas overnight in a large bowl. Put 3 tablespoons each of parsley and cilantro in a food processor. Once fully chopped, gather as much juice as you can from the herbs and set aside along with the herbs themselves. Put the juices back in the food processor along with 1/2 a large white onion. If you like bell peppers, put 1/2 a large red bell pepper in as well at this time. Grind until chopped. Add chickpeas, four cloves or garlic, and grind some more.
Season with 2 heaping tablespoons of kosher salt, 1 1/2 tablespoons of cumin, and 1 tablespoon of coriander. Add remaining chickpeas and blend together until you've achieved a nice dice—the mixture should not be pureed, you should be able to see each ingredient! Heat canola oil to 325 degrees in a large Dutch oven. Pack falafel mixture TIGHTLY into 1-inch cookie scoop and drop directly into the oil. After about three minutes, falafel should be crisp and browned—if it's dark green, it's not ready yet. Remove and place on paper towel-lined plate. Serve immediately with Israeli salad (diced cucumber, tomatoes, and onions dressed with lemon juice, olive oil, and your remaining herbs).
As always, let me know how it goes. You may as well reach out—you know I'll be trolling the comments anyway. :)
Tess Koman covers breaking (food) news, opinion pieces, and features on larger happenings in the food world. She oversees editorial content on Delish. Her work has appeared on Cosmopolitan.com, Elle.com, and Esquire.com.