Falafel / Chickpea Patties
Sandwiches of these tasty fried patties are classic Middle Eastern street food, seemingly available on every corner. Although some versions use fava beans in addition to chickpeas, most recipes use only chickpeas. Falafel can be made with canned chickpeas or with a packaged mix, but fresh
falafel has the best texture and flavor.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
(plus overnight soaking and 30 minutes sitting time)
Cooking time: 30 to 45 minutes
Serves 4 to 6
|1 1/2 c. dried chickpeas
2 tsp. baking soda
2 small onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 c. fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 c. plain yogurt
2 tbsp. tahini
1 tsp. lemon juice
olive or vegetable oil for frying*
3 large pita pieces, cut in half
2 small tomatoes, chopped
|1. Place chickpeas in a large bowl or
baking dish with 1 tsp. of the
baking soda and cover with water.
Refrigerate and leave to soak for 24
2. Drain chickpeas in a colander. Rub
them lightly between your hands to
remove skins. Rinse well.
3. Combine chickpeas, half the
chopped onions, 2 cloves of garlic,
and all of the cumin, coriander,
parsley, salt, pepper, and cayenne
(if using) in a food processor or
blender. Process until the mixture
becomes a thick, smooth paste.
4. Transfer mixture to a large bowl
and add remaining tsp. of baking
soda. Cover and let sit,
unrefrigerated, for 30 minutes.
5. To make tahini sauce, combine
yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, and 1
clove garlic. Stir with a whisk until
well blended. Cover and chill.
6. Use your hands to form chickpea
mixture into patties about 2 inches
in diameter and 3/4-inch thick.
7. Pour about 2 inches of oil into a
saucepan or deep frying pan. Heat
over medium heat, until oil bubbles
slightly when you dip a corner of a
falafel patty into it. Carefully use a
slotted spoon to place as many
patties in the pan as fit comfortably.
Fry 2 minutes on each side, or until
golden brown. Remove from oil
and place on paper towels to drain.
8. To serve, fill the pocket of each pita
half with 2 or 3 patties, some
chopped onion and tomato, and a
bit of tahini sauce.
*To reduce fat, you can broil falafel instead of frying. Place patties on a cookie sheet and broil for 20 minutes, turning them over once about halfway through. Remove from broiler and lightly brush both sides of each patty with olive oil. Return to the broiler and cook 2 minutes on each side, or until golden and crispy. If you do choose to use oil, remember that cooking with hot oil is simple and safe as long as you’re careful. Always have an adult help you. Be sure to use long-handled utensils whenever possible. Stand back from the stove as far as you can and try to place falafel patties into oil slowly to avoid splattering.