Chickpeas are one of the world’s healthiest foods and coming up with new creative ways to eat them is a top priority. Sometimes, however, the old way is the new way. Falafel is an ancient dish, but if you didn’t grow up eating falafel (like most Westerners) then it is a new exciting thing to try and possibly even incorporate into your weekly meals. This is a basic recipe, but feel free to try out different things and see what goes well with these little guys.
Would a little avocado in the middle taste good or some cheese? What if you use a chipotle sauce instead? Do these taste better baked instead of fried? Let us know what variation tasted the best to you in the comments below. 🙂
- 2 cups dried chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
- Zest of 1 lemon
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- 1½ teaspoons sea salt, plus more for seasoning after cooking
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Olive oil
For yogurt-cucumber sauce:
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 small cucumber, shredded and drained
- 1/4 cup feta (optional)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 spring onion (or garlic makes a different and wonderful flavor)
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Use pita pockets grilled to make the sandwich or try it wrapped in lettuce leaves.
Put everything in the food processor and pulse a couple of times, until all ingredients are thoroughly blended.
Put chickpeas in a large bowl and fill with water to cover them to a depth of about 3 inches. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave on counter overnight. The chickpeas will triple in size and absorb the water, so check a few times during soaking to see if you need to more. Once the beans have soaked for 24 hours, drain and rinse well.
Place the drained chickpeas, ground spices, garlic, onion, cilantro, and parsley in food processor.
Mix the lemon zest, cayenne, salt, and black pepper into the ground chickpeas, then roll a small amount of the mixture into a small ball or a small patty with your hands. The mixture should hold together nicely and not fall apart if it’s too dry add water or too watery add more chickpeas. Continue rolling the rest of the batter into uniform size balls or patties so that they will cook in the same amount of time. Place the uncooked falafel on a large plate or baking sheet until ready to cook.
Drizzle with olive oil and pop them in the over for about 30 mins at 350 checking regularly to make sure they are golden brown. They may need less or more time depending on your oven and what size you made them, so keep your eyes on them.
Let them cool a bit and then serve them up with your new favorite yogurt in a pocket and enjoy.