Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Baked or pan-fried Falafel with tahini sauce

We are big fans of falafel, BUT it is typically deep-fried, so for the first time I tried making a pan-fried version at home. It came out very good (for healthy falafel, anyway) and I really loved the tangy sauce on the sandwich. Mahesh said he would like the falafels to have more flavor but I just thought they needed a little more salt so I have doubled the soy sauce below, but I also might try increasing the parsley, spices and/or onion and garlic too (not sure by how much though). The recipe below is based on the recipe in this video:

For the Falafels:
1 15 oz can of garbanzo beans, washed and drained (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 T lemon juice
3 T onion
1 clove garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander
2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 cup garbanzo flour (also called chana flour, I found this in the bulk section of a health store)
1/4 tsp baking powder

For the Tahini Sauce:

Yield: 2/3 cup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
a few grinds black pepper
3 T tahini (a fermented sesame seed paste, can find it in the middle eastern section of stores)


4 pita bread
4-8 lettuce leaves
1 cup chopped tomato
16-20 slices of cucumber
red hot sauce

For the Falafels:
Put all ingredients except the garbanzo flour and baking powder into a food processor. Process everything until it becomes smooth but not quite a puree. Add the flour and baking powder and pulse until mixed in. Scoop by tablespoon and form into balls. Flatten them slightly (about 1/2 inch thick). At this point you can deep fry them, pan fry them, or bake them. Deep fry in 2 inches of oil at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes OR Pan fry in lightly oiled pan on medium-high heat until browned on both sides OR Bake in 400 degree oven for 40 minutes turning them half way through the baking process.

For the Tahini Sauce:

Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl.

To Assemble the Pita:

Cut 1/2 inch off the top of pita. Open pocket and insert lettuce, 2-3 falafel balls, 1/4 cup tomato, 4 slices of cucumber, 1-2 tablespoons of tahini sauce, and red hot sauce to taste.


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