Saturday, June 11, 2011

Falafel: A piece of the Middle East

The origin of falafel is unknown and controversial. However it is widely believed to have originated in Egypt. These delicious fried balls of flavor are gaining popularity in Western countries, showing up in street carts and vegetarian restaurants.

This recipe calls for it to be made with chickpeas, but they are also sometimes made with fava beans. When made with chickpeas, falafel is high in protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. Chickpeas are also low in fat and salt and contain no cholesterol. They are also high in soluble fiber. And if you don't want to fry them, these little guys are great baked!

Falafel and Tatziki Sauce


1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
1 can (15 oz.) of chickpeas, drained
1 1/2 tbsp fresh cilantro
1 1/2 tbsp fresh parsley
1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 egg

(for sauce)

2 cups plain greek yogurt
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp fresh cilantro

In a large frying pan, heat olive or peanut oil to 375 degrees. (If you are not sure if your oil is ready, drop a SINGLE drop of water into the pan. If it sizzles, you are ready. If it pops, your oil is too hot.)

In a food processor, combine all falafel ingredients except bread crumbs and egg. Blend well. Then add bread crumbs and blend again. Scrape the mixture out into a large bowl and stir in the egg. Scoop the mixture into balls and place in oil using a slotted spoon.

Cook until sides begin to brown (about 2 minutes) then turn and cook the other side. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and place on a wire rack to cool slightly.

For the sauce, place ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend well. Chill for about an hour and that's it! Enjoy!

Makes about 25 falafel balls.

No comments:

Post a Comment