Falafel (Hebrew: (פָלָאפֶלis one of the most famous foods in Israel. It’s cheap, healthy and tasty. As a main dish, it is served as a sandwich, stuffed in pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes, and tahina. As an appetizer, it is served on a salad, or with hummus and tahina. Bon appétit!
1 3/4 cup dried chickpeas
Two cloves garlic, lightly crushed
One small onion, quartered
One teaspoon ground coriander
One tablespoon ground cumin
Scant teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
One cup chopped parsley or cilantro leaves
One teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
One tablespoon lemon juice
Neutral oil, like grape seed or corn, for frying
1. Put the beans in a large bowl and cover with water by 3 or 4 inches; they will triple in volume. Soak for 24 hours, adding water if needed to keep beans submerged.
2. Drain beans well (reserve soaking water) and transfer to a food processor. Add remaining ingredients except oil; pulse until minced but not pureed, scraping sides of a bowl down; add soaking water if necessary to allow a machine to do its work, but no more than one or two tablespoons. Keep pulsing until mixture comes together. Taste, adding salt, pepper, cayenne or lemon juice to taste.
3. Put the oil in a large, deep saucepan to a depth of at least 2 inches; more is better. The narrower the saucepan the less oil you need, but the more oil you use the more patties you can cook at a time. Turn heat to medium-high and heat oil to about 350 degrees (a pinch of batter will sizzle immediately).
4. Scoop heaping tablespoons of batter and shape into balls or small patties. Fry in batches, without crowding, until nicely browned, turning as necessary; total cooking time will be less than 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
If you travel in Israel, you must eat Falafel.