What is Falafel?
Falafel is a deep fried ball of goodness! Made with chick peas, it is a traditional Palestinian street food dish. It’s usually eaten in a stuffed pita pocket. It’s vegan, crunchy, delicious and usually topped with tahini sauce and salad. We’ve made it easy for you guys to nail this authentic Palestinian Falafel recipe with our Falafel Spice mix!
Falafel has come to be a controversial dish with different groups of people claiming to have invented Falafel. But at Sea of Herbs we believe something this good should bring us all together! According to Wikipedia(1), Falafel is thought to have originated in Egypt, with ancient Egyptian texts describing what seems to be Falafel. Modern day Egyptians though more commonly eat ‘ṭaʿmeyya’, which is made with Fava beans. The Levant region then adapted it using chickpeas. But regardless of where it came from, we’re happy people enjoy this delicious and nutritious dish!
Is it healthy?
The short answer is Yes-sort of! But it’s deep fried you say? Well, let’s break that down. Firstly, the cooking method of deep frying doesn’t have to be as evil as it seems. Eating fried foods at home in moderation allows you to have control of the process and avoid unhealthy trans fats that have been re-used multiple times in a restaurant. Olive, soybean, and canola oils are all good choices according WebMd(2). They also recommend using a fresh batch of frying oil every time.
The second thing to consider is that the ingredients in home-made Falafel are really healthy!
Chickpeas are a wonderful source of vitamins and minerals. They are rich in fiber which can aid in digestion and keeps you feeling fuller for longer, which can help you lose weight. Chickpeas are also very special because they may help prevent some chronic illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. It is also a superfood for people who don’t eat meat or animal products because it is very high in protein. Its’ versatility, such as Chickpea flour also makes it easy to use for people with food allergies such gluten and wheat.
We proudly source and create our spices with the highest quality ingredients and have a sophisticated palate of balanced of flavors. Not only do the spices and herbs we use possess anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer qualities but we believe they add to overall quality of life and enhance your mood.
Though low in calories, onions not only pack a punch with flavor they also contain many nutrients and vitamins B, C and potassium. Onions are also rich in anti-oxidants and are anti-inflammatory which may prevent future diseases and chronic illnesses.
Parsley is one of our favorite herbs because it is a powerful disease fighting plant that is low in calories and very high in nutrients. It is very high in anti-oxidants and is rich in cancer-fighting ingredients like flavonoids and vitamin C.
Cilantro is a super herb! Rich in nutrition, this herb has been linked to improving brain health, improves memory and in animal studies, rivaled anti-anxiety medication for anxiety symptoms.
Highly nutritious, Garlic is low in calories and rich in medicinal health benefits. Garlic was used in ancient times to increase strength and productivity. It was given to laborers and ancient Olympians, and in rats was shown to improve athletic abilities. It is also an immunity boosting food that can help speed up recovery of illnesses like the flu and common cold.
Falafel is also traditionally eaten in a pita bread stuffed with deliciously healthy tahini sauce, tomatoes and salad leaves like arugula. So in conclusion, it is a perfect lunch or breakfast food to fuel you throughout the day and because it is high in protein it will keep you fuller longer. Arab Christians love Falafel during lent because it is vegetarian (and Vegan) friendly and rich in nutrition.
Firstly, for this recipe it’s important to use dried chick peas and soak them overnight. Trust us, it’s worth it! Not only will it taste better but the texture will be fluffy on the inside. Soak the chick peas in a bowl overnight with lots of water as they will increase in size. After you soak it overnight, you want to drain them well before adding them to your food processor.
Second, this recipe is simple. Prepare the ingredients in a food processor and keep it textured but blended before transferring to bowl and refrigerating for an hour.
When pulsing your ingredients, don’t over process them to a mush, falafel should be somewhat textured and fluffy.
We recommend frying rather than baking as the experience of falafel is about the crunchy texture as well as the taste.
- 1 heaping tablespoon Sea of Herbs Falafel Spice Mix
- 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight (don’t use canned chickpeas)
- 1/2 cup onion, roughly chopped
- 1 cup parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 small green chile pepper (optional)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp chickpea flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Soak your Chickpeas overnight in large bowl with water. After about 12 hours, drain well.
- In a food processor combine all your ingredients (except oil which is for frying). Pulse until you have a well combined but still textured consistency. It should hold together but not be too wet. Next, pour into a bowl and cover and chill in refrigerator for an hour.
- Get your skillet ready with oil and heat. Have your falafel or ice cream scooper ready and form your falafels into patties/balls. Try a test falafel to see if mixture holds up well and if oil temperature is right. If the falafel falls apart, add another tablespoon of flour to the mix and test again. It usually takes a couple minutes on each side to brown, and then add the rest. Do not overcrowd the skillet.
- Stuff in a pita with arugula, tomatoes, cucumbers and tahini sauce or hummus. You can also top it on your protein or salad bowl instead of meat. Sahtein!