For some reason I’ve been intimidated by the thought of making falafel. I have no idea why. The best I can come up with is because it’s an authentic dish and I tend to make foods that are more creative than authentic. The weather has been $%!& this week to put it mildly, so I’ve done lots of reading. I came across an article about falafel and I realized this dish is rather easy to make. The key is to use dried garbanzo beans instead of canned. You don’t even have to cook the beans but rather soak them for 24 hours before preparing the falafel. And to make the process even simpler you can bake them instead of frying them. I was sold and decided it was time to finally give homemade falafel a try.
I recently bought a new blender, the Ninja Professional Blender with single serve cups. I love my old blender, the KitchenAid 5 Speed Blender, but the pitcher continually leaks no matter how many times I’ve had Josh tighten it up. It was finally enough is enough with the messes I had to deal with. I currently drink a green smoothie for breakfast every day and I needed something that could handle the task. So after much research I went for the Ninja. Of course I’d love a Blendtec or Vitamix but they are insanely pricey. Overall I’m quite happy with my purchase and I figured I’d test it’s capabilities beyond smoothie making by blending my falafel. It worked like a charm.
So in the end falafel making really takes no effort beyond remembering to soak your beans. And the baking process was more than simple. I made patties instead of balls which proved to be a good idea. I baked them until slightly browned and crisp on the outside. For dinner I served them with a tahini yogurt sauce, tomato wedges, Italian flat bread, and greens. Delicious!
Falafel (makes ~24 patties)
- 1 1/2 cups dried garbanzo beans
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
- 1/2 bunch fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
- Soak garbanzo beans in water for 24 hours.
- Drain and rinse beans. Add to food processor (or blender).
- In a sauté pan heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion when hot and cook until lightly browned and translucent. Add to food processor. (You could easily skip this step and add raw onion to the food processor instead.)
- Add the rest of the ingredients to food processor. Pulse until smooth. I used 3 tablespoons of olive oil to achieve the desired consistency. Taste test and add any more spices if desired.
- Remove mixture from food processor and place in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Form patties and place in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes on one side, flip and bake another 15-20 minutes on the other side.
Tahini Yogurt Sauce
- 6 oz plain greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- few dashes of smoked paprika
- Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until time to serve.