It is always with hesitation that I use the name of a traditional dish knowing I have used nontraditional ingredients or methods. I’m sure I have strayed off track with this interpretation of falafel but hopefully not so far that it doesn’t bear some resemblance to the real thing.
This was a play-it-by-ear event which was not without caveat, so it is not a “how to” tutorial or recipe to be followed word for word. As usual, I throw this stuff out there hoping to inspire creativity and as an opportunity for others to learn from my mistakes.
I soaked (dry) green chickpeas overnight.
In the morning I blended the soaked chickpeas using almond milk as needed to facilitate blending. To compensate for the added liquid I mixed in some rice flour. As an after thought, I soaked a few fenugreek seeds in hot water to soften them quickly so they could be blended and mixed in. Kosher salt was also added and the mash was allowed to rest at room temperature for a few hours.
Ingredients added to the ground green chickpeas were:
- minced onions
- minced garlic
- a few minced green cayenne chilis (mostly without seeds)
- minced red jalapeños
- crushed cumin seeds
- crushed coriander seeds
- powdered rosemary
- powdered fenugreek leaves
The mixture was too moist (lesson learned about adding too much liquid to facilitate grinding). To dry it up I added bread crumbs, more rice flour, self rising flour (because it was handy) and chickpea flour (besan). Sifting the flours and mixing them in a little at a time prevented clumping.
To adjust seasoning I added cumin powder, coriander powder, kosher salt, black pepper, and since more liquid was the last thing needed I added a few pinches of citric acid in place of lime juice. Just for kicks I threw in a dash of baking powder.
The falafels were cooked in an ebelskiver pan with much less oil than would be used for deep frying.
The falafels were served with iceberg lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes. Were they good? Every bit as good if not better than the deep fried ones I had 32 years ago at the Renaissance Fair.
The dressing was made with cilantro, green jalapeños, tahini, avocado, lime juice and honey.