Falafel

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Falafel is a wonderful food packed with protein and full of flavor and spices to satisfy both meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Falafel is a fried croquet made from chickpeas or fava beans or both combined, along with lots of fresh herbs and spices. It is traditionally served with salad, with Khoubiz (an Arabic flat bread) or in a split pita. You can enjoy it with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and other garnishes, and is delicious with tahini sauce (a sauce made with pureed roasted sesame seeds) or as in this recipe tzatziki which is a yogurt sauce made with cucumber, garlic, lemon and herbs. I like eating it with tzatziki sauce because I find the cool yogurt and cucumber flavors pair nicely with the spicy falafel. It is equally delicious with tahini sauce. In this recipe I use canned chickpeas, or garbanzo beans as they are also called. Because they are precooked, there is also an egg and some flour added to ensure the croquets stay together when you fry them. It is also sometimes made with raw presoaked, ground chickpeas and or fava beans. In this case there is no need to add an egg or flour to help hold the mixture together. Also, in this recipe there is baking powder added and that makes them a little lighter in texture. This is a quicker version than using the raw chickpeas and fava beans, but I do enjoy making falafel that way also when I have the time for soaking the beans overnight. So let’s travel now to the Middle East for this wonderfully tasty, healthy, satisfying dish!

Feel free to comment at the end of the post 🙂

 

For the Falafel:

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Gather all your ingredients together and prep them for your falafel. Make sure you chickpeas are well drained so you don’t end up with a mixture that is too wet. Coarsely chop your scallions, garlic, and fresh herbs before adding them to the food processor along with your well drained chickpeas. Process these together first to make a coarse paste. It’s ok to leave some texture, and is much better than too smooth of a puree, but there shouldn’t be pieces that are too large because the patty won’t hold well together.

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Next add your spices, lemon juice, the egg, salt, baking powder, and flour to the processor and pulse together just to combine. Again, do not over process, you do not want a gummy texture.

imageOnce combined, cover your falafel mixture and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

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imageWith slightly damp hands, take a heaping tablespoon of the mixture, roll it into a ball, and flatten it slightly to make a patty. Then take the patty and slightly dredge it in flour, shake off the excess, and set it aside until you are done making all of them.

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Heat about 1 inch of vegetable or grapeseed oil in a saute pan.  When the oil is hot (350 degrees) fry the patties until golden brown and crunchy on the outside, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.

For The Tzatziki Sauce:

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Gather your sauce ingredients. I prefer using fresh dill, but I was all out so used dried dill instead. It was still delicious. 🙂

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Peel the cucumber(if using an English cucumber no need to peel, just wash it and wipe dry) and remove the seeds with a spoon.

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Using a box grater, grate the cucumber onto some paper towel, or a clean kitchen towel.

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Gather the 4 corners of the towel together, twist, and squeeze as much water from the grated cucumber as you can.

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Finely mince the garlic into the salt, and with the side of your knife mash the garlic and salt together to form a smooth paste. In a bowl, combine the yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice, minced dill and mint(optional),  garlic and salt and stir together. Cover and refrigerate for 1/2 hour for even more flavor if possible.

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Warm your pita, slice them open, and assemble your falafel sandwiches with chopped lettuce, tomato slices, and tzatziki sauce. Enjoy!!

 

Falafel (Yield: about 18 patties)

Falafel Ingredients:

2 cans Cooked Chickpeas(Garbanzo Beans), very well drained

4 Scallions or 1 Small Onion, roughly chopped

1 Large Garlic Clove, minced

1/2 c Fresh Parsley, roughly chopped

1 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin

1 1/2 tsp Ground Coriander

1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper

1/3 c All Purpose Flour, plus more for dredging

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1 1/4 tsp salt

1 Lemon, juiced

1 Large Egg

Vegetable or Grapeseed oil, for frying falafel

Chopped Lettuce, for garnish

Sliced Tomato, for garnish

Tzatziki Sauce, recipe follows

Tzatziki Sauce:

3/4 c Plain Greek Yogurt

1/4 c Sour Cream

1 English cucumber, or 1 Regular Cucumber(peeled), seeded, finely grated and drained

1/2 Fresh Lemon, juiced

1 1/2 Tbs Fresh Dill, minced, or 1/2 tsp dried

1/2 tsp Fresh Mint, minced(optional)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Procedure:

1. Coarsely chop your scallions (or onion), garlic, and fresh herbs before adding them to the food processor along with your well drained chickpeas. Process these together first to make a coarse paste.

2. Next add your spices, lemon juice, the egg, salt. Add the baking powder, and flour to the processor and pulse together just to combine. Do not over process, you do not want a gummy texture.

3. Once combined, cover your falafel mixture and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

4. With slightly damp hands, take a heaping tablespoon of the mixture, roll it into a ball, and flatten it slightly to make a patty. Then take the patty and slightly dredge it in flour, shake off the excess, and set it aside until you are done making all of them.

5. Heat about 1 inch of vegetable or grapeseed oil in a saute pan.  When the oil is hot (350 degrees) fry the patties until golden brown and crunchy on the outside, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.

For The Tzatziki Sauce:

1.Peel the cucumber(if using an English cucumber no need to peel, just wash it and wipe dry) and remove the seeds with a spoon.

2. Using a box grater, grate the cucumber onto some paper towel, or a clean kitchen towel. Gather the 4 corners of the towel together, twist, and squeeze as much water from the grated cucumber as you can.

3. Finely mince the garlic into the salt, and with the side of your knife mash the garlic and salt together to form a smooth paste. In a bowl, combine the yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice, minced dill and mint(optional),  garlic and salt and stir together. Cover and refrigerate for 1/2 hour for even more flavor if possible.

4. Warm your pita, slice them open, and assemble your falafel sandwiches with chopped lettuce, tomato slices, and tzatziki sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Falafel

  1. Dianne,you are killing me with all these fabulous recipes. Will be trying this one over the weekend. Think you should start taking to go orders. I would definitely order! Thank you so much for sharing.

    Like

    • Hi A.K. Maleeke,
      Thank you for your suggestion!Yes, hummus would also be delicious you’re right! 🙂 I am making falafel again this week for dinner so I will try it. As you can see from my recipe for hummus on my blog I’m a big fan! Thanks again for your feedback and have a great day 🙂
      Dianne

      Liked by 1 person

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