When you are a parent of teenagers, like I am, it can be a challenge sometimes to prepare a family dinner. Not only does each and every one of them prefer different kinds of food, they also have their own activities to go to. Like soccer practice, swimming practice, theater class, jobs etc. Usually those activities take place after school, meaning that one has to eat early, the other late…. I try to cope with that as best as I can without having to cook six separate times. I challenge myself not to solve this issue with fast food, even though they would absolutely not object to that! Instead I try to make something that warms up easily, like soup, fresh made pasta that warms up easily in the oven, any sort of curry and so on.
And of course there is falafel, one of my favorites. Many see falafel as belonging to the category fast food. Nothing could be more wrong. Falafel is made of plant based ingredients only and fried in vegetable oil, so absolutely nothing wrong with that. (what turns it into fast food is eating the falafel balls in a pita)
Now there are several ways of making falafel, I posted before (on FB) about the traditional kind. This time I would like to share with you falafel with a twist, the twist being adding fava beans and hazelnuts.
I think the best way to describe the taste is a slight hint of sweetness and a bit more crunchy. A real good taste if you ask me.
The good thing about homemade falafel is that although it requires a bit of work and time, you can make lots of it and store in the freezer. Ready for use any time you require!
Here is what you do:
To prepare approx. 24 balls you need 150 grams dried fava beans and 150 grams of chickpeas soaked overnight in plenty of cold water. Pat them dry with a clean cloth. Place them in a food processor and grind them until they become “sticky breadcrumbs” . Then add: 1 small red onion chopped, 2 cloves of garlic chopped, 1 red chili pepper chopped and deseeded, bunch of fresh coriander (stems and leaves) 6 tbsp of fresh parsley leaves chopped, 1 tbsp of corianderpowder, 1 tbsp of cumin powder. Mix everything in the food processor until it has become a a green pasta. Do not over mix, it still has to have the consistency of small breadcrumbs, not too smooth!
Place the mixture in a bowl in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before frying.
In the meantime roast 60 grams of hazelnuts (remove the brown skin) and chop them up coarsely.
Add the nuts and a teaspoon of baking soda to the falafel mixture and mix well.
Heat some vegetable oil to your choice (I always use un-fragranced coconut oil) in a frying pan and fry a teaspoon of mixture to taste if it is to your liking, when required add some spices to your own taste.
Make little balls with a special falafel spoon or just by hand if you do not have one.
Fry them in small quantities at a time for 6 minutes or so until golden brown and crunchy.
You can serve falafel in many ways, in a pita is probably the most common one, I choose this time for roasted eggplant and zucchini, a tahin dressing and a salad to go with it.