Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Falafel In A Jiffy

You don't need to go out to have tasty falafel. Make it at home quickly, easily and on the cheap.

garbanzo beans chickpeas with scoop

Photo: Artizone (Flickr)

Behold the hearty, the economical, the flexible and the nutritious garbanzo bean.

Good And Good For You

When I first tried falafel in a Bloomington restaurant, I thought, “This is so much like food back home!”

That’s because no matter where you are in the world, falafel is made from the same garbanzo beans (chickpeas) humans have been cultivating since the 10th millennium B.C.E.

These legumes are rich in protein, phosphorus, folate and a host of other vitamins and minerals. They’re also gluten-free and incredibly versatile. You can grind chickpeas into flour, puree them into hummus and deep-fry them to make falafel.

Here’s a very easy recipe for the latter. All you need is five ingredients!

Quick, Easy Falafel

Ingredients

  • 2 cups garbanzo beans, soaked for at least 4 hours
  • 3 - 4 springs of chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 - 3 cups oil for frying

Cooking Directions

  1. Drain water from beans, and add cilantro, salt and chili flakes. (You can also add garlic, lime juice and ginger if you want a zestier result.)
  2. Blend the mix coarsely in a food processor, and heat oil in a pan.
  3. Shape the chickpea mush into balls, and gently press them flat.
  4. Deep fry until golden brown.

Rama Cousik

Rama Cousik grew up in India, watching and helping her mom cook. The taste, the texture, and the way she feels when she eats seasonal vegetables and fruits are indescribable. Hence, no matter where she lives, the idea of seasonal food is an essential part of her food philosophy.

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