Recently, Hubby spend almost 2 weeks in China on a business trip. While he was eating delicious dim sum and hot pop, I tried not to be too jealous and took the opportunity to make foods that I love and he is…well, less enthusiastic about. One of these items includes these Veggie Loaded Falafel Pitas.
Now before I write my husband off as one of those other husbands who needs meat and vehemently refuses to eat any sort of vegetarian (never mind vegan) meal, you should know that he is not. Yes, I get the occasional off-hand “where’s the meat” comment when I make a meatless meal, but he usually admits that whatever I made was pretty tasty. Except for some cases in which it is not, in which case we both agree and it gets tossed into the garbage and probably eventually becomes raccoon food. He just doesn’t like falafel in particular.
Well these turned out so yummy that I am making them again for our upcoming camping trip in hopes that I will change his mind.
Making falafel was way easier than I anticipated. All they take are dried chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, scallions, garlic and some spices. Before you go planning to make these for supper tonight, you need to know that the chickpeas need to be soaked overnight. So go ahead and make them for supper tomorrow.
Everything gets nice and minced up in the food processor. Hardly any chopping required.
When if forms a kind of granular paste, it gets formed into little patties. This is kind of tricky, because it doesn’t stick together all that well.
Just don’t touch them too much once they’re formed and they should be okay. You can fry them up right now, or stick them in the fridge until you’re ready.
Falafel are traditionally deep fried, but I chose to fry them in only a thin layer of canola oil to avoid waste. I would like to think that frying in less oil means they absorb less oil, but it doesn’t quite work that way.
They’re done when they’re golden brown on both sides, with a nice crisp crust and soft interior. The problem with falafel is that they are usually dry throughout, or to quote Hubby “like chewing on a sawdust patty”. These ones are not.
Serve these on whole wheat pita with the accompanying tahini sauce and fresh vegetables, or just eat them plain dipped in either tahini sauce or tzatziki. A yummy meal or snack either way. They’re also perfect to bring on a picnic or day hike.
- 1 cup dried chickpeas picked over, rinsed and soaked overnight in enough water to cover by 1"
- 5 scallions coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup packed parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves
- 3 cloves garlic minced or pressed
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- canola oil for frying
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup lemon juice from 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cloves medium garlic minced or pressed
Combine all ingredients except oil in a food processor. Process until smooth. Form mixture into 1.5-2" patties. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.
Pour enough oil into a large skillet to cover the bottom. Heat over medium high. When oil is hot, carefully add the falafel patties to the oil. Cook until golden brown on the bottom. Flip and continue cooking until both sides are golden brown. Carefully transfer to a wire rack to allow excess oil to drip off. Keep warm in a 200°F oven if needed.
Add all ingredients to a blended. Blend until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Serve 2 falafel patties in a pita with fresh vegetables (spinach or other greens, tomatoes, cucumber, mushrooms, etc.) and tahini sauce. Falafels can also be eaten by themselves with tahini sauce or tzatziki.