Green Falafel - Mediterranean Chickpea Fritters

The Oscars came and went and with them my fantasies of being a fly on the wall at Wolfgang Puck's Oscars party catering kitchen. I wouldn't interrupt, for the most part, just let me in to experience the commotion and sneak a slider or two, while the perfectly starched, uniformed waiters, zip by with the trays carried so elegantly high.
My promises of fading into the background would quickly dissipate and I would come up with last minute menu suggestions, Skewer Green Falafel bites with lemon, garlic tahini sauce. My own trials and tribulations with falafel would come in handy.  Many batches later, some baked, some half shallow fried and finished in the oven. Others fried, some with bread, some without, but a major component was off, I was not satisfied. I went on a few months hiatus and then came up for more experimentation and ended up with these Oscar worthy recipes.:)
I knew the answer was not only the right recipe but the consistency. Consistency that I knew could only be achieved with a meat grinder. Thank you all my friends who chimed in and helped in the decision process of old fashion versus what you all wholeheartedly recommended, a Kitchen Aid attachment. It works wonders.
In my search I came up with a couple winning recipes so stay tuned for more in the near future. My findings might be subjective but I do not like the recipes that called for bread, it felt like a filler. I also like my falafel fried not baked just like my doughnuts. I was happy with consistency only after I purchased my meat grinder. I also love how ingredients like cilantro, onion and garlic become one with the chickpeas in the grinding process. Often these reasons, consistency and meshing of the ingredients together, are why recipes for meat or fish kebabs ask to run ingredients through a meat grinder.
Lastly, since I didn't have the falafel scooper, and the melon baller and ice cream scooper didn't work well for me, I rolled the balls gently by hand and placed them on a slotted large spoon and lowered them gently into the oil. Test that oil is hot enough with one falafel first. Don't over crowd the deep fryer or deep pot you are using to fry the falafel. This mix has a lot of moisture in it since I added a large onion for flavor. If you wish for less moisture and an easier to work with mix, than you might wish to add only a small onion. The jalapeno was my idea. It blended well, gave it a zest without overpowering the fritters.


Related post: You might want to served these falafel in these pita pockets

Green Falafel
Adapted from  The Book of New Israeli Food by Janna Gur
Makes approximately 30 small

Ingredients:
1 cup dry chickpeas, soaked in water overnight
1 large onion, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 cup roughly chopped parsley
1 cup roughly chopped cilantro
6 garlic cloves
1-1 1/2 teaspoons salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1 jalapeno, roughly chopped or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tablespoon baking soda
2 tablespoons flour
Canola or any mild vegetable oil for frying

1 tablespoon flour

Heat up oil on medium heat in a deep pan.
Rinse and drain chickpeas, add all the ingredients except the oil and last tablespoon of flour in a large bowl and grind through a meat grinder. Mix lightly with a rubber spatula and then add the last tablespoon of flour to the mixture.
Gently roll falafel by hand, place on slotted large spoon and gently lower into oil. Falafel should quickly rise to the surface. You might need to reduce the heat if the falafel fritters get dark too quickly and do not cook inside. Cook for a few minutes and drain on a paper towel.
Serve in a pita with Israeli salad, cabbage slaw, tahini, harissa and pickles or just as cocktail bites with a tahini sauce.