Falafel is a vegetarian dish consisting of deep-fried balls or patties made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both. It is originally an Arabic (Egyptian) food and since 2% of the Iranian population are Arabs, this food has found its way to Iran.
Obviously, the best Falafel in Iran is made in southern provinces which have significant populations of Iranian Arabs such as Bushehr and Khuzestan. The word Falafel is derived from the Arabic word falāfil, a plural of the word filfil, meaning “pepper.”
Falafel was traditionally made with fava beans and continues to be made that way in Egypt and other Arab countries, but Iranian Falafel is made from chickpeas and is wildly popular all around the country as a form of fast food.
20 falafel balls
- 1 Pound chickpeas (2 cups) soaked overnight
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- ¼ Cups chopped fresh parsley *optional
- 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 Teaspoon salt to taste
- ½ Teaspoons pepper
- vegetable oil
- Chickpeas will double in size after soaking overnight. So you will have 3-4 cups of chickpeas. Drain and rinse them well.
- and place into a food processor together with garlic cloves, parsley, and onion. Pulse all ingredients until the mixture has a paste-like consistency and is well combined, but not pureed.
- Adjust the water if the mixture is too dry. Add sesame seed, baking powder, salt, and pepper and mix well. I recommend covering the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerating it for 1-2 hours, but if you do not have time to do so you can go on to the next step.
- Place a non-stick skillet over medium heat and fill with vegetable oil to a depth of 1 inch. Meanwhile, with a Falafel scoop or with your hands shape the mixture into round balls. Carefully place them in oil and fry until golden brown. It takes almost 5 minutes for both sides to brown.
- When both sides are golden brown remove them from the skillet and place them on a paper towel. Serve warm with bread and enjoy!