The weather has been so pleasant in the Bay Area this weekend that I thought it would be nice to have something fun and refreshing for dinner. We haven’t had falafel sandwiches in a while, and since there are so many vegetarians in my house, it was a perfect choice. Other than the falafel themselves, all that was required to prepare a full dinner was a little yogurt (Tzatziki) sauce, diced tomato salad and some pita bread.
To make the falafel I used a combination of fresh fava beans, canned chickpeas, pistachios, fresh bread and a few spices. We prepared a large number, stored a few in the freezer and deep-fried the rest. The key to light falafel is to coarsely chop the ingredients as opposed to blending the chickpeas too smoothly.
I served the meal family style with mini pita bread pockets. Everyone got to put their own sandwich together, which was half the fun. It was absolutely delicious and the preparation was almost effortless.
1. Info for Homemade Falafel Recipe
- Cook Time: unavailable
- Total Time: unavailable
- Servings: 50
- Calories: unavailable
2. Ingredients for Homemade Falafel Recipe
- 3¼ cups canned chickpeas, drained and chopped
- 1 pound fresh fava beans in the pod
- 1 small white onion, very finely chopped
- 1½ cups fresh bread, cubed
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon sumac (or paprika, if not available)
- 1 quart canola oil, as needed
- 2 tablespoons pistachios, finely chopped
- ½ cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder, freshly ground
- ¾ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 2 cups Tzatziki sauce (recipe follows)
- 4 cups Israeli salad (recipe follows)
- 1 package mini pita bread pockets, slightly toasted
- Shell the fava beans. Add them to a quart of salted boiling water; cook for about 5 minutes. Strain and immediately transfer into a cold water bath. Pat dry on a towel. Season with ¼ teaspoon of salt. Coarsely chop and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, soak the bread with milk. In a food processor, place the chopped chickpeas, onions, garlic, pistachios, mint and parsley. Pulse 3 to 4 times and transfer to the mixing bowl. Add the flour, baking soda, cumin powder, coriander powder and sumac. Season with salt and pepper. Using food service disposable gloves, knead the mixture. Drizzle with olive oil. Chill in the freezer until you’re ready to fry.
- Using an ice cream scoop, form 50 balls.
- Heat a deep fryer. Add the canola oil. Once the oil is hot, fry 3 balls for about 3-5 minutes until golden. Transfer to a cooling rack lined with paper towels. I cooked them in several batches.
- Assembly time: On a large platter, start by layering halved pita bread pockets. Place a mound of falafel, a bowl of Israeli salad and Tzatziki sauce on the side.
- Bon appétit!