Earth Day is just around the corner… and I can’t think of anything more that represents
the flavors of the earth more than Falafel.
If you’ve never tried it or heard of it before, let me tell you this… it’s so delicious you’ll wonder how you’ve gone so long with out ever eating them!
It’s a fantastic balance of flavors from the chick peas, cumin, coriander, cayenne… truly Mediterranean tastes, but really earthy.
We aren’t big fryers in our house… but this is one fried dish that’s the exception. It’s healthy, it’s hearty and it’s a relatively inexpensive meal…and it’s not as hard as you think. I know there are some powdered mixes out there, but just give this one a try. I promise you’ll be patting yourself on the back at how proud you’ll be over making them!
Falafel in a Pita
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained (if you can find dried ones and rehydrate them in 2 cups of water, even better!
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1 dash pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup dry bread crumbs
oil for frying
1/2 cup Tahini paste
1/2 lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
Shredded Romaine Lettuce
In a large bowl mash chickpeas until thick and pasty; or place in a blender on coarse… don’t make it too thin. Remove from blender and place in a bowl… then process onion, parsley and garlic until smooth. Stir into mashed chickpeas. (I like to do mash the chickpeas by hand with a masher… hand for the record, I think it gives a better consistency but if you must use a blender.)
In a small bowl combine egg, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, cayenne, lemon juice and baking powder. Stir into chickpea mixture along with olive oil. Slowly add bread crumbs until mixture is not sticky but will hold together- don’t make it too dry as the falafel will then be to dense and not cook well. Add more or less bread crumbs, as needed.
Form 8 balls with two spoons…(a little larger than a ping pong ball size) or use an ice cream scooper… there are also special falafel scoopers that you can find in some specialty gourmet food stores.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. (enough to cover patties) Fry patties in hot oil until brown on both sides- approx 3-5 minutes.
Remove & drain on a paper towel.
Serve immediately while hot.
Cut Pita bread in half… add lettuce, tomatoes, onion… split a falafel ball in two and place inside and top with Tahini sauce.
I sometimes even like to mix a little yogurt, fresh dill & cucumbers together and use that as a topping…