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Homemade falafel

Diana De Cicco is a food editor and writer based in New York City. She has a master's degree from New York University in Food Studies. Her passions are eating, traveling, and eating while traveling.

Vegetarian falafel for meat eaters

If you're looking for a healthy and tasty alternative to meat dishes, try making falafel. These crispy, simple-to-make balls made from chickpeas have so much flavor that you won’t even notice they are vegetarian.

Falfel

Classic Fried Falafel

Makes 12 balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 1/2 white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Directions:

  1. Drain chickpeas well and place in a food processor; pulse until well chopped.
  2. Blend in onion, cilantro, salt, garlic, cumin, coriander, baking powder, flour and egg until well combined. Mixture will be a little dry.
  3. Place batter in a bowl, cover and let chill for a few hours.
  4. When ready to fry, heat about 3 to 4 inches of oil in a skillet to 375 degrees F.
  5. Meanwhile, form batter into balls about 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Fry balls in oil until crispy and browned on the outside, about 4 to 5 minutes, flipping to cook all sides.
  6. Remove balls with a slotted spoon and let drain on paper towels. Serve with yogurt dip (recipe below) or in pitas.

Baked Fava Bean Falafel Sandwich

Makes 4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried fava beans, soaked overnight
  • 1/2 white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 pita breads
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • Chopped lettuce
  • Yogurt sauce (recipe below)

Directions:

  1. Drain fava beans well and place in a food processor; pulse until well chopped.
  2. Blend in onion, parsley, salt, garlic powder, cumin, baking powder and flour until well combined. Mixture will be a little dry.
  3. Place batter in a bowl, cover and let chill for a few hours.
  4. When ready to bake, drizzle oil on a baking sheet and heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  5. Meanwhile, form batter into balls about 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Place balls on baking sheet and bake until crispy and browned on the outside, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  6. Let balls cool for a few minutes, then place 2 to 3 balls in pita bread and top with tomatoes, onions, lettuce and yogurt sauce.

Yogurt Sauce

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • chives to garnish

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle cucumber with salt and place in a strainer; let strain for a few minutes and press down with a spoon to squeeze any excess water out.
  2. Mix cucumber with yogurt and garlic; sprinkle with chives.

More recipe ideas

Vegetarian: How to go meatless
Benefits of beans & legumes
Moroccan lamb burgers

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