Saturday, May 29, 2010


I found this recipe on the sisterscafe, but it is from epicurious.  I had never made middle eastern food before, and had never eaten falafel so it was an adventure.  I also had no food processor, making this quite difficult to make. I used my blender, but it was not good at moving the chickpeas around the blender to sufficiently chop them, so I had to do smaller batches... Not a good experience.  I was also thinking that I just had to chop up the chickpeas right before I made the falafel - - not so.  Start this early so flavors can blend.  I followed the recipe except for the dried red pepper.  I was afraid to make it too spicy.  I did use a little bit of cayenne pepper, but not enough.  It needed more spice.  We just added tabasco.  I did not buy Tahini, I made up my own sauce by watering down some greek yogurt and adding a tiny amount of sesame oil for the sesame flavor  That worked really well.  
DH and I thought these were great, not one of the kids liked them.  Go figure.  DH even rated it a 6.  I give it a 4 because it needed a bit more flavor, but that is entirely my fault for leaving out the red pepper.


  • 1 cup dried chickpeas

  • 1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2-1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper (I used a pinch of cayenne)

  • 4 cloves of garlic

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 4-6 tablespoons flour

  • Soybean or vegetable oil for frying

  • Chopped tomato for garnish

  • Diced onion for garnish

  • Diced green bell pepper for garnish

  • Tahina sauce (I used my own sauce listed above)

  • Pita bread (I used my pita recipe)

  • Directions

    1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained.
    2. Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.
    3. Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. (mine was super moist.  Not sure if I still had too much water on my chick peas or what, but I used all 6 Tablespoons of flour.  I didn't add more because I could get them to roll into a ball especially if I squeezed a bit of juice out of them, but definitely didn't have a doughy like substance.)  Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
    4. Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts.
    5. Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side,or until golden brown. (I did not flip these, they fried just fine just all the way around just putting them in the oil.)  Drain on paper towels. Stuff half a pita with falafel balls, chopped tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and pickled turnips. Drizzle with tahina thinned with water.

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