If you have never tried a falafel before you are truly in for a treat.
The first time I had a falafel was many many years ago in California. I fell in love with them and crave them a lot of the time, even bought them from the street vendor in New York. Luckily there is also a little resaurant near my house that makes them as well along with stuffed grape leaves. Yumm!! Falafels are made from ground up garbanzo beans also called chick peas or chi chi beans. The recipe below is time consuming but well worth the effort. If you don’t want to make the falafels from scratch you can buy the boxed type in the International or health food section of your local grocery store. They come pre-made and all you have to do is add water and then roll em’ and fry them up. Tahini paste is also in the same section of the grocery store or you neighborhood health food store.
1 cup dried garbanzo beans
4 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried pepper flakes
1 teaspoon baking powder
5 tablespoons flour
Tahini Sauce (recipe follows)
Soak the garbanzo beans overnight or use the quick soak method ( bring to a boil covered in water and boil 2 minutes then turn off heat and let sit for an hour and then drain and rinse that’s the method I use. You can always use canned beans.
In a food processor or blender chop the beans and then toss in a bowl. Add the onions and garlic to the food processor and then into the bowl with the beans. Add spices and mash it all together with your hands (after having washed them of course). Now you will need to add the baking powder and the flour. Keep mashing the mixture and adding flour until you can form into patties or little round balls. You can cook and eat them at this point but I usually refridgerate them for a while or even until the next day. Assorted garnishes (chopped lettuce, tomato, diced cucumber, chopped onion, shredded carrots, bean sprouts etc.)
1/2 cup of tahini
1/2 cup water
Juice of 2 lemon
Garlic crushed (I like alot of garlic so i use 3 cloves)
Sea salt to taste
Place tahini and water in a blender and then add the lemon juice, garlic and salt. Blend it until smooth, if it seems too thick add some more water.
Stuff a few falafels in some pita bread and drizzle the tahini sauce over them.
Please feel free to leave a comment after the recipe.