Soaking time: 12-24 hours
Falafel, a beloved Middle Eastern dish, has gained international recognition for its delicious flavours and vegetarian appeal. With a crispy exterior and a tender, herb-infused interior, falafel has become a popular street food and a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine. The origins of this delectable treat can be traced back centuries, as it has evolved and spread across various cultures.
The exact origins of falafel are a subject of debate, with multiple countries claiming to be its birthplace. Some believe it originated in Egypt, while others attribute its creation to Lebanon or Palestine. Regardless of its exact origins, falafel has become an integral part of the culinary traditions in the Levant region and beyond.
Traditionally, falafel was made using fava beans, but over time, chickpeas became the preferred choice. The use of chickpeas offers a nutty flavour and a creamier texture, making it a perfect base for the mixture. The combination of soaked chickpeas, aromatic herbs like parsley and cilantro, and a blend of spices creates a harmonious blend of flavours that tantalise the taste buds.
Falafel gained popularity due to its vegetarian nature, making it a go-to option for those seeking meat-free alternatives. It quickly found its way into street food stalls, where it was served with warm pita bread, fresh vegetables, and tangy sauces. The portable nature of falafel, wrapped in a pita or flatbread, made it an ideal on-the-go meal, satisfying hunger pangs and delighting taste buds.
Today, falafel has transcended its Middle Eastern roots and has found its place in global cuisine. It has become a favourite choice for vegetarians and vegans worldwide, appreciated for its versatility and delicious flavours. Whether enjoyed as a snack, part of a mezze platter, or tucked into a sandwich, falafel continues to captivate food enthusiasts with its irresistible combination of crispy, golden exterior and a soft, flavourful interior.
In this recipe, we will guide you through the process of creating homemade falafel that rivals the best you've tasted. From soaking the chickpeas to blending them with fresh herbs and spices, and finally frying them to perfection, you will experience the joy of making this beloved dish from scratch. So, let's embark on a culinary adventure and discover the magic of falafel in your own kitchen.