The key to Imad Alarnab’s falafel recipe is the amount of time the chickpeas soak: at least 24 hours, during which time the soaking water is changed multiple times. Imad is adamant that canned chickpeas are an unacceptable substitute. Any vegetable oil will do for frying, but Imad prefers soybean oil. Fry the falafel as soon as the chickpeas are minced, and they’ll taste best fresh out of the fryer.
- Soak the dried chickpeas in a large bowl of cold water for 24 hours, changing the water at least twice. Drain.
- Finely chop the garlic and onion and add them to the chickpeas. Blitz in a food processor until the mixture has a coarse consistency. Don't overblend.
- Add the coriander, salt, and sesame seeds to the mixture, and mix thoroughly.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a deep-fat fryer or heavy pot. Form small patties out of the mixture, and cook in batches in the oil for 3 to 4 minutes, leaving enough space between the patties so that they do not touch while they fry. Drain on paper towels.
- Garnish the falafel with sumac, and eat immediately.
James Ubaghs is a writer, and committed glutton, living in Brussels.