Galganov's Free Recipe for the
Felafel - a Middle-Eastern Vegan Treat!

(Makes approximagely 12 to 13, 2 Tablespoon felafels)

Let's go make some fantastic felafels!

To make this felafel recipe you will need:
  • a mixing bowl (to soak your chick peas, if using dry, and to finish the mixing process)
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • a food processor
  • a deep frier, wok or what ever device you use to deep fry
  • slotted spoon
  • a colander or paper towel on a plate (to drain excess oil)

» Best + easiest of Felafel recipes ever «

  The required ingredients for this falafel recipe are:
  • 1/2 C chickpeas (also known as garbonzo beans, ceci bean
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • water
  • 1/3 small onion
  • 2 medium/small cloves garlic
  • 1/4 C or less dried (or fresh, minced) parsley
  • 1 1/2 tsp (or a shade more) ground see coriander (or 1 Tbsp fresh, minced cilantro [leaf])
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 C bread crumbs
  • 1 to 2 tbs sesame seeds
  • Oil for deep frying

Method (skip steps 1 + 2 if using canned chickpeas):

  1. Wash the chickpeas well, sorting them for poor quality (discoloured, etc) chickpeas and foreign matter.
  2. Soak dried beans in about 2" (5 cm) of clear, cool water for about 8 hours.
  3. Drain the garbanzo beans of liquid.
  4. Put drained garbanzos in a food processor with baking soda, onion, garlic, parsely, salt, coriander, cumin, ground pepper and paprika.
  5. pulse to a course mixture.
  6. transfer contents to a mixing bowl and stir in, well, bread crumbs (you may use flour or oat flour instead) and sesame seeds until the coarse mixture is completely blended. (Add small amounts of water as needed to make the mixture only slightly sticky.j
  7. Refrigerate mix before using.
  8. Wet your hands well and form into flatish balls.
  9. Put, a few at a time, into hot oil turning them until they are golden brown.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Some pressure is needed to make the falafel ball solid enough to hold together when cooking. Don't be very gentle in forming them - squeeze them well.
  • If you're oil is not hot enough, the falafels will break apart as they cook.  If the oil is too hot, they will go very dark while the middle stays raw.
  • Wetting your hands helps keep the raw mixture from sticking to your fingers while adding just enough moisture to help them stick together as they go into the oil.
  • Practice makes perfect - don't be discouraged if they're not perfect. Try again - keep adjusting the spices so you like them.
  • If your felafels continue to fall apart in the cooking process they may need a little more bread crumbs/flour.
  • Falafel mix works better when cold. Refrigerate it before forming and deep frying

This falafel platter is prepared with: top-left - Pita, top-right - Felafel with tahini sauce, bottom-left - hummus (with olives and almonds), middle-right - a plain, diced salad; bottom-right - Cole Slaw.

The Background Story
Felafel - the Perfect Vegan Treat

Felafel, also written as falafel, are made of chickpeas - an important food.  Chickpeas provide a high-protien, low-fat, economical food.

Chickpeas are legumes, or "pulses". They are available, in western markets, dried (in bags) or canned or even, sometimes, in bulk bins and the like. There are several kinds of chickpeas. Green chickpeas, for example, grown and consumed raw in Latin American countries, are known as guasana.  We use the infinitely more common (and generally used for felafel and hummus) white variety.

With a total of around 9,000,000 tonnes in production around the world, India is the largest producer of chickpeas, or "chana" as it is known there - raising in the area of 6,000,000 tonnes of the produce. Pakistan is a distant second at around 800,000 tonnes.  In the western hemisphere, Canada is a large producer at a bit over 200,000 tonnes per year.

The flour from chickpeas, known as "gram pulse", or "besan" flour, is used in India for such treats as pakoras. The felafel, though, is a decidedly Middle Eastern dish.

We choose to use dried (bagged) chickpeas as we believe there to be potential health problems with cans.  Additionally, the economy of dried product represents a substantial savings. We think the modest additional work and extra time to soak and cook the chickpeas is well worth it.

One can purchase a felafel maker (a metal device which precisely measures and forms the felafels). We just make them by hand.

It is sometimes suprising how easy a dish can be to make.  Felafel falls into this category of 'easy".

Felafel is a deep fried food., It can be fried in a pan, pot or wok with just as little as about 1 1/2 to 2 inches (4 to 5 cm) of oil. 

You can use a deep frier (most recommended as todays residential deep friers are quite safe when used as direct).  You can use a pot with or without a deep fry basket. A heavy duty (ie, cast iron) fry pan will work although it holds little oil and can be quite dangerous as the sides are low. You can also use a wok (our prefered vessel).  The shape of the wok makes it economical and, when used with due caution, relatively safe.

We do caution you, though, to never leave hot oil unattended!  Children should never be left alone with or even near hot oil. Felafel fries quickly and seems to not absorb much oil during the cooking process.

In this day and age when food processors are so convenient and affordable we wouldn't even consider making feleafel without a food processor.  It certainly can be done but it makes no sense to us.

You should make felafel a few times to find out what mix of spices you like best, We prepared it many times before we found the precise balance of flavours that suited our taste. Leaving out paprika, for example, will make a lighter coloured felafel while adding minced, fresh coriander leaf will give it a greenish hue and it may darken a bit more during cooking.

Felafel may be served on a salad plate or, as in much of the Middle East, as a sandwich in a pita. In some cultures, the pita pocket is filled while in others, the felafels are wrapped, with vegetables and tahini sauce, in a pita "flatbread" or "souvlaki sandwich" style.

If making felafel sandwiches, you can use commercially prepared pitas or you can make your own.  We prefer home-made pita but your favourite will work!