Who doesn’t love Falafel with pita bread as a pocket? But have you ever wondered why is Falafel green? Or what is in a falafel? Or is it even healthy?
Falafel is a deep-fried ball or a patty made from chickpeas or fava beans, sometimes from both with some fresh herbs and spices. You’ll find Falafel under the Mediterranean or middle-eastern cuisine on any restaurant’s menu.
It has this fantastic earthy flavour to it! Falafel is crispy from the outside and soft, tender from the inside.
It is prevalent street food in middle-eastern countries. Falafel is also a very favourite dish of vegetarians and vegans. It is served in many different ways. Sometimes with pita bread with hot sauce, pickles, and various vegetables; sometimes as a mezze spread with other small plates like hummus; or served with salads or sides.
Let’s talk in detail about our favourite dish and know it a little more.
What is in Falafel?
The main ingredient of Falafel is chickpeas, but sometimes it is also made of fava beans or both the ingredients are also used. The main ingredient is then combined with herbs such as cilantro, dill or parsley. Spices are also added; cumin, red-pepper flakes, cayenne and other spices are used.
Onions or garlic and shallots can also be thrown in. There are hundreds of recipes for making Falafel, and many use baking soda to ensure tenderness and fluffiness from the inside. Many people use herbs, spices or veggies of their own choice according to their taste.
Why is Falafel green?
Have you ever wondered why is Falafel green? Well, if you have, here’s your answer. Falafel gets its green colour from its major ingredients: dill, mint and parsley. Falafel is a gluten-free, vegan dish. As more and more people are going towards vegetarianism and veganism, people love food with many green veggies and herbs, which are also very good for health.
People from Jordan and Iraq mostly eat green falafels. Iraqi Falafel is a bit different looking from traditional falafels. ‘Why is falafel green?’ is a question answered mainly with the type of spices and herbs used to make it.
How to make Falafel?
As we said, if you were wondering about ‘why is falafel green?’, it depends totally on the ingredients used to make it. We’ll give you a small guide on how to make green Falafel.
This is not a traditional recipe and contains three types of herbs, aromatics and seven different spices.
- A cup of chickpeas
- Two tablespoons of baking soda
- ½ chopped stalk celery
- A large chopped onion
- 1/3 chopped red bell pepper
- 2/3 fresh mint in a cup
- ½ fresh dill in a cup
- A tablespoon of salt
- Two tablespoons of ground cumin
- ¾ tsp of garlic powder
- ¼ tsp of oregano
- 2/4 tsp each of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and anise
- 1/8 tsp of nutmeg
- ½ tsp of baking soda
- ½ cup of chickpea or rice flour, and
- Oil for frying.
Steps To Make Green Falafel
- For best texture, use dry chickpeas or java beans and soak them overnight in a refrigerator, add baking soda to soften them, and then drain them.
- Break the chickpeas or java beans using a food processor and make a powder.
- Add other ingredients: onion, red bell pepper, salt according to your taste, spices, oregano, rice flour, garlic powder, celery, and baking soda and mix everything well until it resembles a coarse meal.
- Adjust the seasoning according to your taste.
- Transfer the mixture to one large bowl.
- Make small balls or thick discs of this mixture using your hands and place them in line with the parchment paper.
- Now, chill this mixture again in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
- Pour vegetable oil of about 1-inch depth into a pan and heat it on a medium flame for 5-6 mins.
- After heating the oil, fry the balls of the mixture and let them get brown, then gently flip them. Frying rather than baking makes them crispier and tastier.
- They can now be served with pita bread, tahini sauce or any other hot sauce.
Is Falafel healthy?
Chickpeas are mostly the main ingredient in Falafel, which is highly healthy. When you think ‘why is falafel green?’ You get your answer, it is due to its high plant-based ingredients and herbs like cilantro, dill and green onions and all these green veggies are known to be very healthy. Chickpeas are also high in fibre and a good source of plant-based protein. Chickpeas are also a great source of Vitamin B and have minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. Falafel contains a good number of micronutrients.
It may help curb a person’s appetite, supporting to maintain the standard level of blood sugar.
On the contrary, frying makes Falafel full of calories and fat content, so if you want it to be light, bake it or air-fry it.
Is Falafel a vegan food?
Yes. Falafel is made of plant-based products, most of which answer the question- why is Falafel green? As there is no animal product used in its making, Falafel is considered to be vegan.
After answering your questions like- why is Falafel green? Is Falafel healthy? Is falafel vegan? We’ve shared a few of our favourite falafel recipes for you to try at home!
Falafel is a very easy-to-make dish in a short amount of time. It is also quite versatile as it can be served in many different ways with different dishes.
People make chicken falafels and waffled falafels as well!
Baked Falafel with Cucumbers and Tahini
You can use canned chickpeas for this recipe to shorten the prep time. Add panko crumbs to the mixture we already told you about above. Panko crumbs help the patties to keep their desired shape. Serve with roasted eggplant or any other veggies.
Stuffed Falafel Balls
These falafel balls are excellent for appetizers as they are delicious and also require short prep time. After making the Falafel, stuff them with the feta-pepper mixture, chill them and fry them till they are crispy outside and melty-cheesy inside!
Falafel Salad with Hummus Dressing
Shape the falafel mixture into balls. Here too, add panko crumbs to the mixture before frying. It gives a very different but good taste. Add a creamy hummus-yoghurt dressing to the crispy, hot Falafel to make the dish wholesome.
Here’s an amazing video for you to check on different falafel recipes! As you asked ‘Why is falafel green?’ you’ll see falafel green from inside in these recipes and realize yourself that it happened due to the ingredients used!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why is Falafel green? What is green Falafel made of?
Why is Falafel green? Falafel is green due to the ingredients like parsley, dill and green onion. They’re made of chickpeas and java beans with many other aromatics, spices and herbs.
What is the secret to a tasty falafel?
The best way is to use dried chickpeas rather than canned ones. Soak the dried chickpeas and add baking soda. Refrigerate this mixture overnight and drain the mixture.
How do I know if my Falafel is cooked?
Keep frying or baking the Falafel till it’s golden-brown from both sides, and then you are good to go! As we’ve also answered your question – ‘why is Falafel green?’ Remember to check your falafel from the inside to check the green colour!
In this article we answered your questions- Why is Falafel green, or is falafel healthy? Get a guide about Best Mortar And Pestle available in the market to break and grind your chickpeas without a food processor.