Falafel

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Falafel is so darn good, and these are really delicious.  Don’t fear the ingredient list…even though there are a lot of ingredients, it is not hard to prepare these.  We did find it much easier to fry them as discs instead of balls.  The recipe is adapted from Marlena Spieler’s Complete Guide to Traditional Jewish Cooking.

One of the best Middle Eastern restaurants I have ever been to is Fadi’s in Houston, and that’s where I learned that pickles are absolutely yummy on a falafel sandwich and a schwarma sandwich.  Trust me it’s good…go on and give it a try!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 c. dried chickpeas
  • 4 c. water (enough to cover the chickpeas)
  • 8 TBSP bulgar
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 5 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
  • 5 TBSP cilantro, chopped
  • 3 TBSP ground cumin
  • 1 TBSP ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 3 TBSP water
  • 6 TBSP flour
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Pitta bread
  • Top with Grecian sauce, below, and pickles

Grecian Sauce (I call it this, because it reminds me of the Grecian Sauce at Albasha’s in Baton Rouge, LA.  This recipe is adapted from The Spanish, Middle Eastern, & African Cookbook:

  • 1/2 cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 c. parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 c. plain yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh mint, optional
  • Directions: Combine all ingredients in a bowl then top falafel

Directions:

  1. Place chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with water; let soak overnight.
  2. Drain chickpeas and grind in a food processor.  Put ground chickpeas in a bowl and stir in bulgar, onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, ground cumin and coriander, baking powder, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper, and curry powder.  Add the water and let stand for about 45 minutes.
  3. Stir the flour into the falafel batter (add more flour if too thin and add more water if too thick).
  4. Heat oil in a deep pot for frying the falafel.
  5. Using wet hands shape falafel into discs.  Add the falafel to the hot oil in small batches (no more than 2 to 3 in the pot) for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown.  Remove the cooked falafel and let drain on paper towels.
  6. Take a pita bread, place falafel in pita, add some pickles and Grecian Sauce.

Falafel:

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