It’s probably best to just lower our heads in a deep bow of gratitude to Israelis, Lebanese, Palestinians, Syrians and Egyptians (as well as anyone else we may have left out of the food fight) for bringing falafel to our local restaurants and homes.
No one is quite sure who can rightfully take credit for inventing these delicious little savory balls with their tender, cakey insides and deliciously crispy outsides. All we know for sure is that they are well loved around the world, addictively yummy, and super easy to make. There’s one more benefit (as if we needed more): these beauties are vegan and gluten-free.
In a large bowl, rinse the chickpeas thoroughly, then add 3 cups fresh water. Cover bowl and let it soak overnight. Drain and set aside.
Chop the onion and parsley.
Peel and mince the garlic.
Pulse mixture until well combined (about 4 – 5 minutes), using a spatula or wooden spoon to scrape the sides as necessary. Your falafel mixture should be close to a mealy paste with bits of herb and chickpea still intact.
Cover the mixture and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
When the mixture is cooled and firm, use your hands to shape it into balls (about the size of golf balls).
In a large skillet, heat 1½ inches of oil to 375 degrees.
Fry your falafel balls for 2 – 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn them over gently and brown on the other side (2 – 3 minutes more). Remove fried falafel balls from oil using a slotted spoon and set them aside to drain on a paper towel lined plate or tray.
Note: If your falafel mixture falls apart when forming it into balls, mix in small amounts of flour if your mixture is too wet, or blend more if not pasty enough.