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Falafel (with Garlicky Tahini Sauce!)

I make falafel all the time, and keep meaning to write up a recipe to share. The truth is, I make them so often I don’t really measure anymore – I add a bit of onion, some garlic, a bunch of cilantro stems, a bit of heat in the form of a jalapeño or pinch of chili flakes, and some baking powder to lighten them. Sometimes I add a spoonful of flour — any kind – which isn’t necessary, but will help them hold together a bit. Some people refrigerate their falafel mix overnight to let the texture and flavours develop, so really this is a great make-ahead kind of thing that you can cook quickly, without even having to preheat the oven. And yes, you could use canned chickpeas, but the falafel will have a softer texture, and there is a chance they will fall apart in the oil… I’ve never had a problem with them falling apart but a few people have in some dinner classes, and I’m not sure if it’s a particular brand they’re using? At any rate, if you use canned chickpeas maybe it’s safest to cook small patties in a skillet instead!

Also! I often plan for a batch of naan at the same time, and ladle some of the hot oil from cooking the falafel into a cast iron skillet to cook it just as fast.

As for the tahini sauce, it can be all or mostly tahini, or all or mostly plain yogurt, infused with garlic, with a squeeze of lemon and big pinch of salt. I generally eyeball about equal parts tahini and yogurt with a clove of garlic and squeeze of lemon, but it’s the kind of thing that’s completely dictated by taste. Also – it gets better after a day or two in the fridge. Really you could make both components ahead of time and have them ready to cook when you’re ready for dinner.

Falafel

AuthorJulie

Yields4 Servings

1 1/2 cups (approximately) dry chickpeas
1 small shallot, a chunk of purple onion or a few green onions
1-2 garlic cloves, peeled
a handful of cilantro (or about 1/3 cup chopped stems-if you like cilantro!)
1 small jalapeño, seeded and chopped, or a big pinch of chili flakes
1 tsp cumin
1-2 Tbsp flour (any kind-optional)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
canola or other mild vegetable oil, for cooking

1

The day before you want to make falafel, put the dry chickpeas in a bowl or container and add enough water to cover them by a couple inches. Let them soak overnight, and for up to a day.

2

When you’re ready to make falafel, drain the soaked chickpeas and put them into the bowl of a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse, scraping down the side of the bowl, until it’s well blended and you have a mixture that holds together when you squeeze it.

3

Heat an inch or two of oil in a heavy, shallow pot until it’s hot enough that a scrap of bread sizzles if you dip it in, or if you dip a wooden spoon in, the oil bubbles around it. If you have a thermometer, aim for 350-375F. Shape the chickpea mixture into small balls, patties or quenelles and cook in batches in the oil until they’re deep golden. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

4

Makes a dozen or so falafel.

Category,

Ingredients

 1 1/2 cups (approximately) dry chickpeas
 1 small shallot, a chunk of purple onion or a few green onions
 1-2 garlic cloves, peeled
 a handful of cilantro (or about 1/3 cup chopped stems-if you like cilantro!)
 1 small jalapeño, seeded and chopped, or a big pinch of chili flakes
 1 tsp cumin
 1-2 Tbsp flour (any kind-optional)
 1 tsp baking powder
 1/2 tsp salt
 canola or other mild vegetable oil, for cooking

Directions

1

The day before you want to make falafel, put the dry chickpeas in a bowl or container and add enough water to cover them by a couple inches. Let them soak overnight, and for up to a day.

2

When you’re ready to make falafel, drain the soaked chickpeas and put them into the bowl of a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse, scraping down the side of the bowl, until it’s well blended and you have a mixture that holds together when you squeeze it.

3

Heat an inch or two of oil in a heavy, shallow pot until it’s hot enough that a scrap of bread sizzles if you dip it in, or if you dip a wooden spoon in, the oil bubbles around it. If you have a thermometer, aim for 350-375F. Shape the chickpea mixture into small balls, patties or quenelles and cook in batches in the oil until they’re deep golden. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

4

Makes a dozen or so falafel.

Falafel
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About Julie

5 comments on “Falafel (with Garlicky Tahini Sauce!)

  1. Mary
    January 16, 2022 at 9:02 pm

    Hi Julie! Could you use canned chick peas?

  2. Carol S-B
    January 23, 2022 at 12:08 pm

    Yummm! And so simple. I like that you mentioned canned chickpeas in your forward: I do like firm falafel (and to not have it fall apart in the oil)!
    Also: what a great idea, to have the mixture made up ahead of time, then just fry it when you’re ready.
    I’m always intimidated by deep frying. But this looks very achievable.

  3. Shanna Vandenberg
    February 1, 2022 at 12:08 pm

    What could be replaced for chickpeas and lentils, my husband has developed a new allergy to both of those?

    • Mother Gayah
      March 19, 2022 at 7:45 pm

      @Shanna – Black beans are often used to replace chick peas in hummus recipes… If your husband is not allergic, this can possibly make a fun substitute! (Organic soybeans and fava beans are also great possibilities.) Enjoy!

  4. Sabrina
    April 2, 2022 at 8:56 am

    My family loves falafel so I’m always looking for new simple delicious recipes & this one this not disappoint. It really was so easy to make & was packed with so many amazing flavours. Thanks for this, its a keeper!

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