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From Joan Nathan's cookbook, " The Foods of Israel Today". She created this recipe after sampling many different falafels and interviewing the people who made them. You can make an Egyptian version by omitting the cilantro and substituting fava beans for the chickpeas. To make this truly "Israeli-style", garnish with tahina sauce (made from ground sesame seeds), harissa hot sauce, pickled turnip, or sauerkraut. In fact, all types of pickled fruits and vegetables (including regular dill pickles, eggplant, mango) work really well! If you can't find tahina sauce, you can serve with hummus or a yogurt sauce. Chickpeas need to soak overnight, and chickpeas mixture must be refrigerated for a few hours.
- 1 cup dried garbanzo beans
- 1⁄2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2-1 teaspoon dried hot red chili pepper
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 -6 tablespoons flour or 4 -6 tablespoons bulgur
- soybean oil or vegetable oil, for frying
- chopped tomato, for garnish
- diced onion, for garnish
- diced green bell pepper, for garnish
- pita bread
- Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain.
- Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.
- Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough bulgur or flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
- Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts.
- Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Stuff half a pita with falafel balls, and garnishes and sauces of your choice.