Great sandwiches or a unique first course.
scant 2 cups dried chickpeas (about 1/3 pound)
4 scallions (white and green parts), cleaned and minced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh mint, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon minced hot green chili (like jalapeño)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons warm water
light olive oil for deep-frying
1. Place dried chickpeas in a bowl and cover with cold water. Soak for at least 12 hours and up to 15 hours.
2. When ready to cook, drain the chickpeas and place them in a food processor. Add scallions, garlic, parsley, mint, chili, salt, cumin, and coriander. Mix baking powder with the 3 tablespoons warm water and add mixture to food processor. Process until smooth. Transfer mixture to a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Pour the oil to a depth of 2 inches in a heavy saucepan or wok. Heat to 375 degrees.
4. When falafel mixture is chilled, roll into 16 Ping-Pong-ball-sized balls. Slip a few at a time into the hot oil, making sure they don't stick to the bottom. Cook, turning, for about 6 minutes, or until the balls are a dark, even brown on all sides. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve either in sandwiches or as a falafel first course
These deep-fried balls with irresistible Middle Eastern flavor have become street-corner staples in large American cities, where thousands of them are sold from pushcarts daily. But they're also easy to prepare at home. You can make them with chickpeas, with fava beans (as they do in Egypt), or with a combination of the two. We like them with chickpeas alone. Makes 16 falafel, enough for 4 sandwiches or 4 first-course servings.