Last weekend I had a craving for hummus and went to buy, among other things, chickpeas from the Kroger down the street from my apartment. There’s a substantial Asian population around it, and as such the ‘international’ aisle is mostly Asian foods with not much space for everything else. This isn’t usually a problem, but I was surprised to find that they didn’t even carry chickpeas.
The lack of chickpeas at Kroger must have set off some strange internal panic, because I ended up buying 2 cans of cooked chickpeas and 1 bag of dried ones elsewhere. Logically, the only thing to do was make falafel to go with the hummus.
I’ve made hummus several times before and pita once, so I thought this would be a good way to combine three recipes into one meal. For various reasons I opted to bake the falafel and was very pleased with the result. The hummus recipe I used was from Smitten Kitchen.
This recipe was exceptionally simple, the only hiccup I experienced was due to the fact that our food processor couldn’t hold all the ingredients at once.
They were exceptionally filling, and it took us about a week to eat them all. I imagine they would also freeze well if you wanted to make an even bigger batch and save some for later.
The first time I made pita (also using the Smitten Kitchen recipe) I had no issues with the bread puffing up. This time around it was the complete opposite, and only 1 or 2 of them really inflated fully the way they should. I’m still not sure why this happened, but fortunately I still ended up with some really good flatbread.
- 1¾ C dried chickpeas
- 2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- Scant tsp cayenne, or to taste
- 1 C chopped parsley or cilantro leaves
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- If frying: Neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, for frying
- Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with water by 3 or 4 inches; they will triple in volume. Soak for 24 hours, adding water if needed to keep beans submerged.
- Drain chickpeas and transfer to a food processor. Add remaining ingredients except oil; pulse until minced but not pureed, scraping sides of bowl down.
- Add soaking water if necessary to allow machine to do its work, but no more than 1 or 2 tablespoons. Keep pulsing until mixture comes together. Taste, adding salt, pepper, cayenne or lemon juice to taste.
- Scoop heaping tablespoons of batter and shape into balls or small patties. If baking, place on a lined baking sheet and cook in a 350 degree oven for 18-20 minutes.
- If frying, put the oil in a large, deep saucepan to a depth of at least 2 inches; more is better. The narrower the saucepan the less oil you need, but the more oil you use the more patties you can cook at a time.
- Turn heat to medium-high and heat oil to about 350 degrees (a pinch of batter will sizzle immediately). Fry in batches, without crowding, until nicely browned, turning as necessary; total cooking time will be less than 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.