Falafel, those golden-brown, flavorful nuggets of Middle Eastern cuisine, have a rich history that stretches back thousands of years. Traditionally deep-fried, these delectable chickpea patties have been a staple in the Levant region and beyond. However, in today’s health-conscious world, we’re taking a modern twist by preparing Air Fried Falafel. This method not only reduces the oil content but also retains that signature crispy exterior and tender interior. Get ready to embark on a culinary journey that combines tradition and innovation.
Historical Context: The exact origin of falafel is a subject of culinary debate, with claims from both Egypt and the Levant. Some food historians even suggest that falafel may have been inspired by ancient Roman deep-fried chickpea recipes. Regardless of its origins, falafel has become a beloved dish worldwide, finding a special place in the hearts of vegetarians and food enthusiasts alike.
Step 1: Prepare the Chickpeas Start by soaking the dried chickpeas in cold water for at least 12 hours or overnight. Once soaked, drain them thoroughly.
Step 2: Blend the Ingredients In a food processor, combine the soaked and drained chickpeas, chopped onion, minced garlic, fresh parsley, cilantro, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped but not pureed; it should resemble coarse sand.
Step 3: Add Binding Agents Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Mix well until the ingredients are evenly distributed. If the mixture seems too loose to hold together, add more flour, one tablespoon at a time, until it forms a cohesive dough.
Step 4: Shape the Falafel Using your hands, shape the mixture into small, uniform balls, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You can lightly wet your hands with water to prevent sticking while shaping.
Step 5: Preheat the Air Fryer Preheat your air fryer to 370°F (190°C).
Step 6: Air Fry the Falafel Lightly spray the falafel balls with cooking spray or brush them with a small amount of olive oil. Place them in the preheated air fryer basket in a single layer, making sure they have some space around each for even cooking. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook them in batches.
Step 7: Air Fry Until Golden Cook the falafel for about 12 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cooking time to ensure even browning. They should become golden and crisp on the outside while remaining tender on the inside.
Step 8: Serve and Enjoy! Once the falafel are done, remove them from the air fryer and let them cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy them in pita bread with your favorite tahini sauce, fresh vegetables, and pickles for a satisfying and healthier twist on a classic Middle Eastern dish.
This Air Fried Falafel recipe offers all the flavors you love without the guilt of deep frying. It’s a delicious and nutritious option for vegetarians, vegans, and anyone looking to enjoy a crispy, flavorful dish with less oil. So, why not give it a try and savor the taste of tradition with a modern twist?