These chickpea or white broad bean patties or rissoles are incredibly popular and much enjoyed in the Middle East. They’re the national dish of Egypt where falafel is also called talamia and are welcome there at any time: breakfast, lunch or supper.
The recipe is the same as the Egyptians although they use broad beans where others use chickpeas and yeast instead of baking powder. I know you will love my Dad’s recipe.
450g chickpeas or dried white broad beans skinned, or if you prefer a mixture of both in equal amounts, soaked overnight
2 medium onions, very finely chopped or grated
2 spring onions with their green leaves, finely chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
1 small handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 small handful fresh coriander, finely chopped
4 teaspoons of ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon baking powder or substitute with 15g yeast or 7g of dried yeast dissolved in 2-3 tablespoons of lukewarm water.
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Oil for deep frying
Drain the chickpeas or broad beans if using. Put them in a food processor with the other ingredients except the oil and run the machine until everything is well chopped, the texture should be like moist, fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively you pound the ingredients together to a smooth paste or put the mixture through a fine blade of a mixer twice before pounding.
Allow the mixture to stand for at least 30 minutes. Take walnut sized lumps and form into flat round shapes 4cm in diameter. The mixture is rather crumbly but will make cakes if handled carefully. Let them rest for 15 minutes longer, then fry them a few at a time, into a pan of hot oil 3cm deep until they are dark, rich, golden brown.
Drain on kitchen paper and eat hot. They go well accompanied with hummus and a crisp salad.
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