i used to hate falafel. i love it now. why, you ask?
because: on my 29th birthday i was dumped at a middle eastern restaurant, over a plate of greek salad (mine) and falafel (his). i've had a truce with falafel for awhile, tho decidedly not with that
jackass fellow, may he rot in hell forever.
in recent months, while attending the various farmer's markets in the city, dw introduced me to the hippie falafel stand. it is amazing, and i have to tell you, baltimore boasts some excellent already-prepared food stands at their markets. but this particular stand. effing amazing.
the falafel itself is standard, plump, fried to a golden crisp on the outside, but juicy and tender inside. it's the condiments that do it for me. they add seasonal veggies AND fruits, throwing in blueberries or fresh peaches, drizzled with honey, sriracha AND tahini sauce. it's a hot mess in a tortilla wrap but the flavor in the mouth after the first bite? it's a revelation. and finally, just recently, a reality.
i first made these last week, with canned chickpeas. dw inhaled TWO in one dinner sitting and had it again for lunch the next day. the lighting was off so i didn't snap pix but he consumed it so fast and eagerly that i decided to make them again over the weekend, this time with dried beans. the recipe calls for soaking of 24 hours and then baking for 20 or so minutes. i found this method made for a very difficult mixing process, they would not shape properly for me despite adding water and flour. with a bit of coaxing, it worked out but still, i wonder if canned is just the better option. dw disagrees. he thinks next time we should boil the beans for about an hour after the 24 hour soak. it's an option. because seriously, these are effing amaze-balls. them hippies. they know how to throw a party.
adapted from the nervous cook
2 lbs dried chickpeas, uncooked, soaked 24 hours
1 tsp baking soda
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tsp cumin
salt & pepper to taste
oil for frying
*for the parsley and cayenne pepper, i did not measure. it was whatever parsley i had leftover and i just tipped the spice jar over and gave it a healthy shake.
preheat oven to 400F.
process everything in food processor, pulsing until they come together.
if it doesn't stick, add up to 1 TBL water and 1/2 TBL AP flour. eyeball it according to consistency.
form the balls, i think i made up about 16.
then i part-fried them in a bit of oil, to create a crispy skin all around. then i baked them further in the oven for 25 minutes.
serve in tortilla wraps, topped with whatever condiments you want or have on hand. i used apples, avocado, vinegar onions and drizzled the entire mess with tahini, honey and sriracha. the crunch of the apples and onions gives it something special and that touch of honey brings it all full circle. i promise.