This fava bean falafel recipe is completely different to one made from a packet - with superior texture, flavour - and much cheaper. It's also great to make a recipe with pulses where they take just a few minutes to cook - rather than the usual hours of simmering. After soaking first, of course... If you make too much falafel mixture, pop it in a box in the fridge to cook and fry another day - they are best served fresh from the fryer.
Using dried peeled fava beans means the recipe is extremely quick to make. The beans will need soaking for a few hours (overnight if you have time), but then there is no peeling or pre-cooking. Everything is just thrown in a blender, formed into shapes, and fried. The falafel hold together better if they've had a little chance to rest before shaping, and frying. Whilst you're waiting, prepare a little hummus, tabbouleh (a few tablespoons of cooked bulgur wheat, a huge bunch of chopped parsley, a little diced tomato, and dressed with lemon juice and olive oil), or just some chopped tomatoes. Of course they should really be served with fresh-from-the-oven pita bread, but fresh sourdough bread is just fine.
There are two colours of falafel in the picture. Our favourite green fava bean falafel recipe is shown below. For a more 'normal' cream-coloured falafel - leave out the fresh herbs out when the mixture is blended. Just stir in 1 tbsp chopped parsley and 1tbsp chopped coriander instead, after blending. For more variation, play around with the spices: adding 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground cardamom, or 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper.
Ingredients Serves: 4
- Whizz the soaked and drained fava beans in a blender until fine. Add all the other ingredient and process until well incorporated. Set the mixture aside to rest for 20 minutes.
- Heat 1 or 2 inches of oil in a sauce pan. When you drop in the falafels, the oil level will also rise.
- Whilst the oil is heating, shape the falafel into small balls using your hands or a pair of spoons, and lay them out on a chopping board.
- When the oil is hot - at least 175°C, carefully lower the falafel one by one into the oil. You will need to fry the falafel in batches. As the oil cools every time a falafel is added, you won't be able to keep a consistent temperature - do not worry about it!
- Turn the falafel so they brown evenly on all sides. When they start to look very brown, take one out and cut it in half - it should look mostly dry throughout, without a wet circle in the centre. If they have browned too quickly, before drying out then lower the heat a little. Depending on size, each batch should take around 4-6 minutes.
- Lift out and place on kitchen roll whilst you cook the rest.
After a stage as a chef at a London Michelin-starred restaurant Nicola became obsessed with seeking the best flavours from around the world. She started Sous Chef in 2012, and is always sharing her knowledge of ingredients and writing recipes to showcase those products. Learning from the products, Sous Chef's suppliers and her travels, Nicola has written the majority of the recipes on the Sous Chef website, all of which are big on flavour.