All the flavors of your favorite falafel spot but dressed up for company. Super crispy fried fish perched atop a fragrant stew of garlicky chickpeas, onions, peppers, and herbs. Drizzle the whole dish with tahini and delicious extra virgin olive oil for a restaurant-style take on a falafel sandwich. Serve with warm pita.
Falafel Fried Fish with Stewy Chickpeas
For the Chickpeas
Extra virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
2 red peppers, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
Pinch of cinnamon
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups chopped tomatoes with their juices, fresh or canned
Freshly cracked black pepper
2 cups cooked chickpeas (either canned and drained or homemade)
¼ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Garnishes: chopped kalamata olives, tahini sauce, best quality extra virgin olive oil, lemon slices
- Heat a large sauté pan, lightly coated with olive oil, over medium-high heat. Sauté onion and peppers until golden brown. Add garlic, spices, and tomato paste. Stir to coat.
- Add fresh or canned tomatoes. Add salt and peppers.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes until flavors meld. Adjust seasoning. Add fresh herbs and keep warm.
For the fish
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rice flour (this makes the fish super crispy)
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons coriander
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 cups beer or water
To fry the fish
4 cups extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven 200 degrees, line a baking sheet with paper towels or a brown paper bag to absorb excess oil.
1. Place ice and water in a large bowl. Fit a mixing bowl into the ice water (this step will yield a light and delicate batter).
2. Whisk all the ingredients for the batter together over the ice. The batter can be made one hour ahead of frying and should be kept on ice.
3. Pat dry the fish, season with salt and pepper, and set aside. Heat oil to 360F.
4. Dredge fish in the corn starch and then into batter. Fry fish in batches until golden brown and crispy. Transfer fish to a lined baking sheet and keep warm in oven.
5. Spoon chickpeas and veggies onto a large platter or individual bowls. Arrange fish on top of chickpeas. Drizzle with tahini, arrange lemons and a good glug of olive oil over the whole delicious platter.
Laura Frankel is a noted kosher chef, a cookbook author, and Culinary Director for a media company. Currently, she serves as Director of Catering at Circle of Life catering at North Suburban Synagogue Beth El.