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Falafels

Falafel

Many moons ago a good looking guy with curly dark hair asked the office HR girl if she would help him find an apartment.  Seeing as how she had lived in the area for the better part of a decade she decided to help out, agreeing to meet him on Saturday at a local “fast food” place for a quick bite before looking at places.  A few years down the road, wedding bells were ringing and as of tomorrow the software developer and (former) HR girl will have spent one year in wedded bliss.  I still can’t believe it’s been a year since our wedding, and I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am to be spending the rest of my life with such an amazing person.

In honor of our anniversary I decided to attempt to recreate that first lunch, which was spent at a Middle Eastern restaurant.  This happened to fit perfectly with this week’s r/52weeksofcooking challenge as falafel is one of my go-to fast food options.  I know it isn’t the “standard” concept of fast food but being vegetarian the standard fast food joint doesn’t really work for me.  Luckily I’ve always worked near a place offering these delicious protein packed treats, be they in pita form or served with golden rice.  Since Joe and I both got the falafel platter and not the pita, I decided to go that route and make some delicious coconut & tumeric rice to go with.  I also made up some of my lazy Greek sauce which got drizzled on top of everything.

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Serves: yields 10 falafels

Ingredients

2 cans chickpeas, well rinsed

1 red onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp Ras El Hanout seasoning

1 tbsp flour

1 tbsp bread crumbs

enough vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Pulse the chickpeas, onion, garlic, and seasoning in a food processor to create a thick paste-like dough.
  2. Roll the dough in to golf ball sized balls. Place on a plate then refrigerate for an hour or place in the freezer for 20 minutes. (for best results keep falafels in the fridge until they are reading to be fried)
  3. Meanwhile heat up the oil in a deep saute dish. Oil needs to go halfway up the falafels so around 2.5inches of oil. Oil is hot enough when you can flick water in and it bubbles off the top (can also use wooden spoon method), gently add the falafels to the oil being sure to not crowd the pan. Cook on each side for around 3 minutes or until a deep golden brown, removing with a slotted spoon.
  4. Remove the falafels to a plate covered in a paper towel. Allow to cool then serve and enjoy!
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I can’t stress enough the importance to keep the falafels as cold as possible before cooking them up.  This will help them keep their shape, something that is not so easy to do with vegan falafels.  The other important thing is to make sure the oil is at the right temperature: too hot and the outside will burn leaving a raw middle; while too cold will cause the falafels to fall apart and cook unevenly.

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