Mar 12

Homemade falafel is amazingly cheap, delicious and easy to prepare at home. However, it’s not without faults. Formulating a recipe where the chickpeas create a thick enough paste, the spice blend is just right, and the batter fries up into cohesive golden balls seems simple in theory but frustrating in practice. The crux of the matter is the dried chickpeas, which form the back bone of the mixture, and need to be soaked substantially in water. Unfortunately, the soaking imparts a lot of moisture, and without sufficient binding, the raw falafel paste disintegrates into small particles upon contact with the hot oil. Several trials and tweaks of a standard recipe have led me to a much more confident place with falafel, and as a bonus, I have perfected two delightful dipping sauces during the process. Now the only downside is that I am indefinitely turned off from any version of falafel other than my own. I guess there are worse things than being tied down to my own kitchen, though.

2 C dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in water then drained
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
½ C chopped cilantro
½ C chopped parsley
1 Tbsp toasted ground coriander
1 Tbsp toasted ground cumin
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 small onion, chopped
½ tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
¾ C whole wheat flour
3 Tbsp tahini paste
1 quart canola or peanut oil

Method: Heat the oil in a large pot or fryer until it reaches 350 degrees. Pulse all of the ingredients except for the flour and oil in a cuisinart until a thick, smooth paste comes together. Dump the mixture into a large mixing bowl and fold in the flour. Immediately spoon tablespoon size mounds of batter into the hot oil, being careful not to over crowd the pot. Fry the falafel for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown and light. Remove from the oil, drain on a paper towel lined plate and repeat with remaining mixture. The falafel can be kept warm in a low oven for up to an hour.

Serve the falafel on a bed of sliced lettuce with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and either or both of the following dipping sauces.

Coriander Tahini:
½ C tahini paste with oil
½ C water
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ Tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
½ tsp honey
1 tsp toasted ground coriander

Method: Puree all the ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Adjust the seasoning if desired.

Citrus Curry Yogurt:
1 C Greek yogurt, low or whole fat
zest and juice of 1 orange
zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tsp sweet curry powder
½ tsp honey
salt and pepper to taste

Method: Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl until combined.

One Response to “Falafel with Citrus Curry Yogurt and Coriander Tahini”

  1. Katherine says:

    Thank so much for this! I’ve been dying to find a falafel recipe, and this looks amazing. I’m going to try baking them to avoid the oil / frying. Can’t wait!

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