Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both. Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern food, usually served in a pita, which acts as a pocket, or wrapped in a flatbread it also frequently refers to a wrapped sandwich that is prepared in this way. The falafel balls are topped with salads, pickled vegetables, hot sauce, and drizzled with tahini-based sauces. Falafel balls may also be eaten alone as a snack or served as part of a meze (appetizers).
- 2 1/4 cups cooked chickpeas
- 3 scallions, coarsely chopped
- 1 large clove garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Generous 1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley
- Generous 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
- 1 egg
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/3 cup flour, plus 1/4 cup flour for shaping patties
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Lettuce, for garnish
- Chopped salted tomatoes, for garnish
- Grated cucumber, for garnish
- White Bean Yogurt Sauce, recipe follows
- Creamy White Bean Yogurt Sauce
- 3/4 cup cooked white beans
- 1 small garlic clove, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, scallions, garlic, cumin, coriander, cayenne, parsley, cilantro, egg, and lemon juice. Pulse to combine and season with salt. The mixture will not be smooth, but it should not have large chunks.
- Add in the baking powder and 1/3 cup of the flour and pulse to just combine. Remove to a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Remove the chickpea mixture from the refrigerator. Add enough oil to a large saute pan so it reaches 1/2-inch up the sides and heat it over medium-high heat until an inserted thermometer reads 360 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, drop spoonfuls of the chickpea mixture onto a plate with 1/4 cup flour. Roll into balls on the floured plate and press gently into patties. Fry in batches of hot oil for about 3 to 4 minutes each side and drain on paper towels.
- Serve the falafel on a bed of lettuce with chopped salted tomatoes, grated cucumber and White Bean Yogurt Sauce.
- Puree the white beans, garlic, yogurt, lemon juice, and olive oil in a mini food processor until very smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with falafel or as a salad dressing.