All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Faraferu / falafel

My first falafel at a Lebanese cafe in Colombo, Sri Lanka, over 15 years ago was the discovery of a whole new taste. This is mild-mannered falafel with enough fresh parsley and cilantro to perk it up.

200 g (250 cc) garbanzo beans (after soaking overnight in photo)
1 small onion
1 clove garlic
1/2 small lemon (2-3 tsp lemon juice)
1/4-1/3 bunch Italian parsley (2-3 tbsp chopped leaves)
1/4-1/3 bunch cilantro (2-3 tbsp chopped leaves)
1 1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
Oil for deep frying (not in photo)

Soak garbanzo beans in water overnight.


Finely chop onion, parsley and cilantro.
Grate garlic.


Grind garbanzo beans in food processor.
When roughly done (with lots of small hard bean grits), add onion, garlic and lemon, and mix.

Add cumin powder and cayenne pepper, and mix.

Add parsley and cilantro, and mix.

Add salt at the end (before ready to deep fry), and mix.


Shape falafel. If garbanzo bean mixture is soggy (normally from adding salt early and sitting for some time), gently squeeze out extra water as you shape them.


In a pot, heat oil (80-90% canola, 10-20% olive oil). When a few bubbles quietly come up from the tips of chopsticks, oil is ready.

Put falafel in oil. When the back side (outer edge) starts to lightly brown, tilt pot to cover exposed top surface with oil (or spoon over hot oil) to start cooking the top.

Flip and cook the other side.


When almost done, raise heat slightly, and hold a piece to be removed with one end still immersed in oil. This draws oil out from falafel and returns it to the pot.

Lift from oil, lightly shake, and place in a drain pan lined with paper towel.


Serve hot with tahini sauce.

  • Chopping onion and other ingredients and grating garlic beforehand ensures good consistency of the bean mixture.
  • When salt is added early, it draws water from onion and makes the bean mixture soggy. Add salt at the very end.
  • The temperature of oil is lower than when deep-frying tempura. Garbanzo bean mixture tends to burn quickly.
  • Partly because this recipe does not use an additional binding ingredient (such as flour), falafel in oil is better left untouched until the bottom is cooked to prevent it from crumbling.

No comments: