Food From Friends, Vegetables & Side Dishes

Makes about 30 falafel

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) dried chickpeas
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp (45 mL) panko or fresh bread crumbs
1 Tbsp (15 mL) ground cumin (preferably toasted)
1 Tbsp (15 mL) ground coriander
1 tsp (5 mL) kosher salt
1/4 tsp (1 ml) cayenne, hot red pepper sauce or Aleppo pepper
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup (50 mL) vegetable oil
Tahina Sauce
Tomato Lime Salsa

Source: Friday Night Dinners by Bonnie Stern

Falafel are the pin-up Middle Eastern food. They are easy to make as long as you remember to soak the chickpeas the night before. Soak lots of chickpeas and freeze them so that you can have speedier falafel the next time. (You could also used canned, but the texture will not be as good.)

Serve these hot as an appetizer or main course, either on their own in pita sandwiches with tahina sauce and salsa. They also make very cute appetizers served in tiny pitas.

  1. In a large bowl, cover chickpeas generously with cold water. Refrigerate overnight. Drain well.
  2. In a food processor, chop garlic and onion until very fine. Add uncooked soaked chickpeas, bread crumbs, cumin, coriander, salt and cayenne and pulse on/off until mixture starts to get pasty and holds together when you pinch it. Add cilantro and process on/off until finely chopped.
  3. With a generous tablespoon, shape mixture into about 30 balls and flatten slightly.
  4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add falafel and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until crispy. Drain on paper towels. Repeat until all are cooked. Serve with sauce and/or salsa.

Makes about 30 falafel