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Michael Solomonov's Israeli Soul

"Goldie” Falafel

"Goldie” Falafel

A recipe worthy of the Rocky run: Michael Solomonov, the chef behind Philadelphia’s acclaimed Zahav, also runs a vegan falafel shop in the city. Lucky for us, in Israeli Soul, he’s shared the secrets to his signature dish (but you should still make a trip to Philly — go Eagles). Don’t shy away from deep-frying; the Dutchess isn’t dainty.

Cookware used in this recipe

Based on the master recipe we developed for Goldie, this version is not too spicy and lets the subtle chickpea taste come through. Herbs and vegetables help keep the falafel balls moist; pulsing in a food processor creates the crispy exterior.

Mix together the baking powder, salt, cumin, and turmeric in a small bowl.

Layer half the ingredients in a food processor in this order: chickpeas, fresh herbs, vegetables, garlic, and the mixed dry seasonings. Repeat with the remaining ingredients in the same order. Add the water and pulse until very finely chopped and the mixture holds together when pinched between two fingers. If necessary, add a bit more water and pulse again to get the right consistency.

Scoop the batter into a colander set over a large bowl to drain while you make the balls. Squeeze out the liquid from the batter with your hands until the dough stays together, then shape into 1-inch balls. Set the balls aside on a plate.

Heat a couple of inches of canola oil to 350°F in a large pot. Lower the balls into the hot oil with a long-handled slotted spoon and raise the heat to high to maintain the temperature of the oil. Fry in batches for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the falafel balls are brown and crispy (but not burnt!).

Immediately transfer the falafel with a slotted spoon to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Serve hot.

Photos by Noah Fecks

Make your sandwich by layering 2 falafel balls with salad and sauce in a pita, and repeating till the pita is full.

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