Tuesday, October 19, 2010
My old roommate turned me on to falafel. I don't think I would have tried it if it wasn't for her, just because it would be one of those recipes that I'd "get around to" eventually. Well, I'm glad she got me to make them because they're awesome. I've made this recipe dozens of times, it's one of my keepers, and better yet, I now pronounce the word "falafel" correctly!
The first time I made these, I didn't have a food processor. I hand-mashed the chickpeas in a large bowl with fork. I later put the recipe away for a time when I could get one. However, $3 and two garage sales later I had myself a fancy new food processor and the recipe was pulled back out with much fanfare (I put out a need in the universe... it's the thrift store mantra. Ask and ye shall receive!).
In my recipe, the falafel is baked instead of fried. I've never really ate fried food, it's not my thing. My mom never made it as a kid and we never went out to eat, so it wasn't really around. I'm not gonna lie either, I could fry stuff in those big restaurant fryers, but when it comes to frying at home I don't know what to and I don't care to learn, so that's that! These babies are baked!
This recipe makes about 24 falafels (is that right? With the "s" on there like that?) and I usually do three falafels per pita.
1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 Tb. tahini
1 Tb. flax seed meal + 2 Tb. water
1 tsp. minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. parsley 1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tb. minced onion
1/4 c. fine (vegan) bread crumbs
1 c. plain soy yogurt (or yogurt of choice)
1 Tb. lemon juice
1/2 Tb. cumin
1/4 tsp. parsley
1/4 tsp. grated lemon peel
Pita bread, warmed
Red onion slices
1. Pulse chickpeas, tahini, lemon peel, cumin, garlic, lemon juice, coriander, chili powder, and salt in a food processor until mostly smooth, but still chunky.
2. Transfer chickpea mixture to a bowl and stir in bread crumbs, onion, and parsley.
3. Make small meatball-sized balls and placed on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on the outside. Be sure to flip it over once while baking and flatten it down.
4. To make Yogurt Sauce: Combine all ingredients in a serving bowl.
To serve: Fill warm pita halves with a few falafels (is that right? Falafels?). Then stuff the filled pita with lettuce, tomato slices, red onions slices, cucumber slices, and a couple tablespoons of yogurt sauce. Enjoy!
1. To make this falafel gluten-free, simply sub 1/4 c. gluten-free breadcrumbs. Alternatively, you can toast about two slices of GF bread in the oven at 350 until browned and pulse into fine crumbs using the food processor (do this before you make the falafels). You may need to put them on a baking sheet back in the oven for a couple minutes to toast them a little more. You'll also need to sub out the pitas. I like to use romaine hearts and serve it in romaine "boats". You could also use GF pitas (there's a recipe here, but I have yet to try it).
2. To use fresh parsley in the falafel, simply sub the dried for one cup of fresh (stems removed). You'll need to give the food processor a few extra whirls to get it chopped and incorporated.