Falafel is a Middle Eastern food that originated in Egypt. Falafel is made up mostly of ground chickpeas, although traditionally it was made up of fava beans.
Falafel is most commonly served in pita bread with hummus, or on a bed on the salad with tahini sauce or as part of a mezze.
Is falafel healthy?
Chickpea falafel is good for you because chickpeas are packed with vitamins and minerals. Their health benefits include being high in protein, improving digestion, aiding weight management and decreasing the risk of disease. Because it is high in protein, falafel is also a great meat replacement for vegetarians and vegans.
How to make falafel: healthy falafel recipe
You can make falafel at home with this easy-to-follow recipe.
Ingredients (serves 20 falafel balls):
- 1 cup dried chickpeas
- 1 ½ large onion, chopped (1 for garnish)
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 green capsicum, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- ½ teaspoon dried red pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Vegetable oil
- 4-6 teaspoon plain flour
- Pita bread
- Tahini sauce
Method (prepare the day before):
- In a large bowl, put the dried chickpeas and cover with water so that the chickpeas are submerged by at least 2 inches. Leave to soak overnight. (You can also make falafel with canned chickpeas.)
- The next day, blend together the chickpeas, chopped onion, parsley, cilantro, garlic, cumin, hot red pepper and salt.
- Add the baking powder and plain flour to the mix so it’s no longer sticky.
- Using your hands, make 20 round balls out of the mixture.
- Put the balls into the refrigerator and let cool for 3 hours.
- In a large wok, heat the vegetable oil and lightly fry the falafel balls for a few minutes on each side, until brown.
- Serve by putting the falafel into pitas, and garnish with chopped onion, tomato and tahini sauce.
Cooking falafel is so easy that anyone can do it! Try it for yourself and indulge in the traditional Middle Eastern cuisine at home!
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