Falafel is typically made with dried chickpeas, but Michael Mina's seasonal version uses sweet English peas and earthy fava beans. Based on his mother’s tried-and-true recipe, Michael’s falafel are crunchy on the outside and soft and tasty within. A combination of fresh herbs and earthy ground spices give the falafel their depth of flavor. The fritters get a touch of heat from red pepper flakes and a pungent kick from garlic and scallions.
- 2 cups shelled, blanched and peeled fresh fava beans (Can subtitute frozen green chickpeas, defrosted)
- 1/2 cup English peas, shelled and blanched (or frozen peas, defrosted)
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped dill
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 3 scallions, green parts only, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon toasted & ground cumin seed
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup Wondra flour
- Grapeseed oil
- Make sure that favas and peas (or chickpeas and peas) are well drained on paper towels. It is important that the ingredients are dry. This will ensure that the mixture binds properly.
- Add favas, peas, parsley, dill, cilantro, scallions and garlic to food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the food processor and pulse again until the mixture comes together. The mixture should still have some small chunks but be thoroughly mixed. You can tell that it is mixed enough when it comes together in your hand without crumbling. Transfer to large bowl.
- Stir in cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Use a 2-ounce scoop (about 2 to 3 tablespoons) to form balls of the mix. Press the balls firmly into patties, making sure there are no cracks around the edge. At this point you can fry one patty in 375°F oil to make sure that the mix is seasoned properly.
- Place the patties on a medium-sized baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill the patties for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.
- Right before frying the falafel, place Wondra flour on a baking sheet or baking dish. Gently coat the falafel patties in the Wondra, dusting off excess flour.
- Set a large cast iron skillet or a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add ½ to ¾ inch grapeseed or canola oil. Heat oil to 375°F. Add 4 patties at a time to the oil and cook on both sides until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Use a slotted spoon or spider to remove the falafel and transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Season with salt. It is important not to overcrowd the pan when frying the falafel. Fry them in batches so that there are at least 2 inches around each one. You can reuse the oil 2 to 3 times. In between batches, scoopout any floating pieces from the oil and make sure to maintain an oil temperature of 375°F.
- Serve the falafel as part of a meal or on their own. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice is the perfect accompaniment.
With accolades including James Beard Foundation "Who's Who of Food & Beverage" inductee in 2013, Gayot Restaurateur of the Year 2011, Food Arts Silver Spoon Award winner May 2011, Bon Appétit Chef of the Year 2005, San Francisco Magazine Chef of the Year 2005, as well as the International Food and Beverage Forum's Restaurateur of the Year 2005, Michael continues to dazzle the culinary world with bold dining concepts that have contributed to San Francisco's reputation as a world-class epicurean destination. Read more about Michael Mina.