Tag Archives: garbanzo beans

Meatless Monday: Homemade Falafels

Forbidden Rice Blog | Falafels (3 of 7)

I’ve totally been MIA. Cooking? Yes, totally. Sporadically, but yes. This last post sort of demonstrates the immediate busyness we generally find ourselves in come September.  My food photography is frequently overrun by kids’ activity photos.

Sometimes I feel like I’m complaining. The never ending cleaning is overwhelming and the constant go-go-go gets wearing. But the truth is I don’t mind on one hand. I really suck at meal planning, but the craziness of keeping up with everyone sort of lends itself to having to learn better techniques of such things.

The following recipe is one that can serve as multiple meals (another plus in the overly-busy-lifestyle). These falafels are great on their own, served with hummus or other tahini-based sauces. They also make great sandwiches or protein for a hefty salad. Delicious hot or cold, that also makes leftovers easy to deal with!

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Homemade Falafels

Yields about 30 falafel balls

1 pound dry garbanzo beans [chickpeas]
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
5 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
small pinch of ground cardamom
vegetable oil for frying

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Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover them by about 3 inches of cold water. Let them soak overnight.

Drain, then rinse the garbanzo beans. Pour them into your food processor along with the chopped onion, parsley, cloves of garlic, flour, salt, cumin, coriander, pepper, and cardamom.

Pulse all ingredients together until a coarse meal forms. Scrape the sides of the food processor as needed, pushing the mixture down the sides. Process the mixture until a slightly coarse paste forms. You want the mixture to hold together, but don’t overprocess, so you don’t end up with hummus! Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

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Fill a deep skillet with vegetable oil to a depth of about 1 1/2 inches. Heat the oil slowly over medium heat. Meanwhile, form the falafel mixture into round balls or slider-shaped patties using your hands (about two tablespoons of mixture per falafel). You can make them smaller or larger depending on your personal preference.

Test one ball to make sure your oil is hot enough. At the correct temperature, it should take 2-3 minutes per side to brown. If it browns faster than that, your oil is too hot and your falafels will not be fully cooked in the center. Cool the oil down slightly and try again. When the oil is at the right temperature, fry the falafel balls in batches of 5-6 at a time, until golden brown on both sides. Let the cooked falafels drain on paper towels.

Serve the falafels fresh and hot. My preference is with pita bread, homemade hummus, tzatziki sauce, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and feta cheese! :)

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Homemade Hummus

One of my favorite last minute foods to make for groups of folks is homemade hummus. Sometimes I just like to make it because it tastes good. It’s easy, quick, and so much tastier than buying store-bought varieties. While you can use canned beans, cooking your own simply allows you to incorporate another layer of taste… Because although they’re easy and quick, canned beans don’t have a whole lot of flavor going on.

There are various ways you can beef up this recipe, but this is a simple and straightforward version. Add in some fresh chopped parsley, or roast your garlic (plus a few more cloves), try different spices in the bean broth. You can serve this all on its own, with chips, with vegetables, on a sandwich, in a wrap, with some falafel balls.


Homemade Hummus

1 cup dried garbanzo beans
1 tbsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. smoked paprika

1/3 cup tahini
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. good quality olive oil
½ tsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. ground cumin
salt, to your liking



Soak the dried garbanzo beans overnight. The next morning, drain and rinse. Place the soaked beans, sea salt, ground cumin, bay leaf, black pepper, and smoked paprika in a large pot. Fill with enough water to cover the beans by one inch. Bring to a low boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until the beans are tender (about 1-2 hours).

Drain the beans (you can reserve the cooking liquid for later use if you want, but it’s not necessary). Place in a food processor fitted with the large chopping blade. Also put the tahini, fresh lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and cumin in the food processor. Blend until very smooth. If the mixture gets too thick, you can add a little more oil. Taste and add salt to your liking. (Remember, add a tiny bit, blend completely, and taste again. You can always add more, but once it’s too salty there isn’t much you can do to fix your hummus!)

Place in a serving bowl, then drizzle the top of the hummus with a little olive oil and sprinkle on a small pinch of smoked paprika. Serve with pita chips, or fresh vegetables, or however you best enjoy your hummus!