Chickpea Patties/ Falafel

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Chickpea Patties/ Falafel
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.

Ingredients

        1½ 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
        ½ c. fresh parsley, chopped; 1 tsp. salt
        ½ tsp. black pepper; 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
        ½ 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.

Instructions

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 hours.

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.

Food: Chickpea Patties/ Falafel

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