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After looking at several falafel recipes, I created my own. This recipe makes a delicate, but flavor packed, falafel without being deep-fried. I highly recommend using dried chickpeas (as opposed to canned), which gives a nicer texture and ensures the falafel cooks through completely, resulting in a perfectly moist end product. By forming the falafel dough into patties instead of balls you also ensure even cooking when using the pan-fry method, instead of deep-fry.

Serve with pita, or other flatbread; tabbouleh; roasted eggplant, garlic, chickpeas and swiss chard; white bean hummus; tahini sauce; green salad; and tzatziki for a delicious vegetarian meal (omit tzatziki for a vegan meal).

INGREDIENTS

Falafel

  • 4 cups soaked, dried chickpeas (about 16 oz dried)
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley, stems discarded
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro
  • 1/2 cup minced green onions
  • 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • extra virgin olive oil

Tahini Sauce

  • 1/2 cup well-stirred tahini (Middle Eastern sesame paste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin

DIRECTIONS

Falafel

  • Place 16 oz of dried chickpeas in a large container with a tight fitting lid, add enough cold water to cover chickpeas by 2 inches, cover with lid and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. This should make between 4 and 5 cups of soaked chickpeas.
  • Drain chickpeas well. Add 4 cups of soaked chickpeas to a food processor, and grind until finely blended (mixture will remain course). Add green onions, parsley leaves, cilantro stems and leaves, salt, and garlic. Blend until smooth as possible (mixture will remain slightly grainy). Add cumin, baking powder, cayenne, and flour. Blend again until smooth as possible. Transfer to a bowl and let stand, covered, for 30 minutes (note: you can also make the falafel batter a day ahead and refrigerate over night).
  • Form falafel into small, 1 1/4 inch wide patties and arrange in one layer on a sheet of wax paper.
  • Heat about 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil in a large, non-stick skillet. Pan-fry falafel patties in batches, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, 2-5 minutes per batch. Transfer to a bowl.

Tahini Sauce

  • Whisk (or using a food processor blender) combine all ingredients until well combined.
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