These little fried cakes are as popular
in Israel as hot dogs are in America, though Israeli falafel tend to
have a great deal more garlic in them than this recipe calls for.
Traditionally several of these hot garlicky cakes are served in warm
pita bread as a sandwich, garnished with chopped cucumber, lettuce,
tomato, and green onion. They also make a delicious appetizer when
served with hot pepper sauce or a fiery salsa, and I think they go well
alongside hamburgers hot off the grill with hot (spicy) ketchup!
Makes 6 to 8 servings
2 cups dried chickpeas, picked over, soaked overnight, and drained (do
not use canned)
2 tablespoons water
3 or 4 large cloves garlic
1/2 small onion, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon ground cumin, or more to taste
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup plain dried bread crumbs made from stale home-style white bread
Mild vegetable oil for deep frying
Hot sauce to taste
Place the dried garbanzo beans, water, garlic and onion in a food
processor. Process until pureed. Add the parsley, cilantro, and cumin,
and season generously with salt and pepper. Process until well mixed.
Turn the dried garbanzo beans mixture into a medium size bowl. Stir in
the bread crumbs, mixing well. A spoon is not nearly as effective as
using your hands to mix in the crumbs.
Form the dried garbanzo beans mixture into balls, using about 1 heaping
tablespoon for each and shaping with your hands. If the mixture sticks
to your hands, wet them before shaping the balls.
Heat the oil to 350°F in a deep fat fryer. (The oil should not be too
hot). Fry the balls, several at a time, until they are a nice golden
brown and crisp on the outside, 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Drain the
crisp balls on paper towels and keep warm until all the falafel is
fried. Serve as hot as possible and pas the hot pepper sauce
For a spicier treat, add 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper to the mixture
at the same time you stir in the bread crumbs, before shaping the