One of my favorite foods while living overseas was falafel - an amazing yummy fried chickpea concoction that is even better with tahini sauce and all wrapped up in a big pita. I've been missing it until the other night.... I went to dinner with friends at a new restaurant in Spartanburg and they had it on the menu - so of course, I had to go for some of that yumminess! I was not disappointed. Afterwards, I realized I had everything that I needed to make it at home, so for dinner the next night - I attempted to make this yumminess myself. I've been pretty intimidated with making this myself- UNTIL NOW! This recipe was was super good and fairly easy - probably not super healthy, but yummy nonetheless. And did I mention easy? If you don't want to try making it yourself and you're around the Spartanburg area, then you should check out Cuzina Grill! It was great too!
For the falafel:
2 cups roughly chopped white onion
6 garlic cloves
2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
1 cup lightly packed parsley leaves
1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup all-purpose flour
Canola oil, for sauteing
Pita bread, for serving
For the tahini sauce:
1¼ cups plain yogurt (full fat or non-fat)
¼ cup tahini (sesame paste)
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Add the onion and garlic cloves to the food processor and pulse just until they are finely minced. Remove the mixture and set it aside.
Add the chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, salt, chili powder, and cumin to the food processor and pulse until they are roughly blended but not pureed.
Return the onion mixture to the food processor, along with the baking powder and just enough flour so that when you pulse the processor, the mixture begins to form a small ball and is not sticky. (Note: Start by adding ¼ cup of flour, and then the remaining ¼ cup. You can add more if the mixture is still too wet.)
Transfer the falafel mixture to a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1 hour.
While the falafel mixture is chilling, prepare the tahini sauce by whisking together the yogurt, tahini and lemon juice. Season it with salt and pepper, cover it and place it in the fridge.
Once the falafel mixture has chilled, use a small ice cream scoop or spoons to form the mixture into balls (roughly 3 Tablespoons per ball). (Note: You can also add additional flour at this point, if the mixture is too wet to scoop.)
Set a large sauté pan over medium heat and add a liberal amount of canola oil so that the pan is well-coated. Let the pan pre-heat for 3 minutes then add the falafel one by one, browning them on the first side for 3 minutes, then flipping them once and browning the second side until the mixture is cooked throughout.
Transfer the falafel to a paper towel-lined cooling wrack and immediately season them with salt. Repeat this process until you have cooked all of the falafel.
Place three or four falafel inside a halved, warmed pita and drizzle with the prepared tahini sauce.
*Recipe was adapted from Just a Taste Blog !