Falafel

I decided to make falafel because one of my vegan readers suggested it. Falafel is another great way to use fiberlicious garbanzo beans. I remember when I first had falafel--it was in the latin quater in Paris about three years ago. Falafel is really popular in North Africa and the Middle East. It's a great vegan recipe that has a "meaty" feel to it.

If you don't have a deep fryer, cooking it can be tricky. Most people complain that it falls apart in the skillet. I had a mini-disaster the first time I made falafel, about a year ago. The oil in the skillet was waaaay too hot. Luckily, Lucy was around and helped me figure out how to cook it at the right temperature. If you can monitor the temperature of your oil, you probably won't have any problems. Also, remember to let the oil "re-heat" after you take a batch out (meaning, wait about 5 minutes or so before putting another batch in your skillet).

I stuffed these in pita with onion, tomato, lettuce, and herbed cucumber yogurt (see recipe below).

Herbed Cucumber Yogurt

1 cup plain yogurt (low fat)

1 kirby cucumber, peeled, seeded*, and chopped

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced

salt and pepper, to taste
*to seed cucumbers, i cut in them in half, legnthwise, and then scoop out the seeds with a spoon
Mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Serve as sauce inside pita for falafel.

 

Falafel
Author: Vallery
Ingredients
  • 1 15 or 16 oz. can garbanzo beans (a.k.a. chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon cumin or cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • pepper to taste
  • oil, for frying
Instructions
  1. Ground peas in food processor (or blender) until smooth. Mix in everything else. Pulse. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Using wet hands, make round balls (see picture).
  3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Heat in 1/4 inch vegetable oil over medium-high heat in shallow frying pan. Fry a few at a time, turning halfway (about 8 minutes total). Transfer to a paper towel. Reheat oil in between.