falafel with bulgur

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you probably know that I'm practically obsessed with falafel!

My first attempts to make falafel were with breadcrumbs, then I found that I preferred the texture of falafel made with flour.  But, the be all and end all of perfectly textured falafel (for me, anyway) is bulgur.  Bulgur makes the lightest, crispiest, most wonderful falafel of all!

After several years of tasting, testing, and obsessing, I think I finally have my "forever" falafel recipe :)

 1/2 cup bulgur
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 medium or large chopped onion
2 - 3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1 t ground coriander
1-2 t cumin
cayenne pepper
1 t lemon juice
1 t baking powder
chopped fresh parsley
oil

Having tried lots of falafel in many different places, I know that it can range from bland to strongly seasoned.  I prefer falafel that can stand on its own, so I season mine at the heavy end of the measurements I've given here.  However, I've made this recipe over and over, and seasoning at the light end should not disappoint you.  If I were making this for guests, I'd go light on the onion, garlic, and cumin.

I always use raw chickpeas.  Soak them overnight, drain, and rinse.  Pour 1/2 cup of boiling water over the bulgur and set it aside for 30 minutes or so.

Roughly chop the onion in a food processor, then add the soaked chickpeas and pulse it a few times.  Add the garlic, salt, pepper, coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice and pulse it until it it's well blended, but not pureed.

Add the soaked bulgur and baking powder, then pulse it until a small ball forms.  Depending on how long I've soaked my chickpeas, the dough might seem too wet here, so I'll add some flour a spoonful at a time until a ball forms.  It shouldn't be sticky.

This is where I stir in the parsley.  You can add it along with the garlic, etc., but then you risk having green falafel, not that there's anything wrong with green falafel.  Actually some of the best falafel I've ever had (Kho San Road, Bangkok) was green, but aesthetically, I prefer little flecks of green.

I like to refrigerate my dough overnight because it makes cooking easier, and allows the flavors to mingle, but a few hours should do.

I've given up my falafel press and I'm back to using my cookie scoop.  Form the mixture into small patties, and flatten them slightly. Pan fry the patties in a bit of oil over medium-high heat for a few minutes on each side, until they're a nice golden brown. 

My favorite way to serve (and eat!) them these days is in a flatbread with lettuce, tomato, pickled veggies, creme fraiche dressing, and a bit of Lingham's Sriracha sauce.  The creme fraiche dressing and pickled veggies are something I picked up from kebab houses here, I buy them at the Middle Eastern markets.

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