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Mediterranean Feast

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Easy, Homemade Falfels @ AVirtuousWoman.org

I love cooking this meal! After the first time my husband brought me home a box of Fantastic Foods Falafel Mix, I knew I needed to find a way to make my own delicious falafels from scratch! I played around with the ingredients until I feel I have come up with the perfect falafel. Now, you can find other falafel recipes on the internet – I tried several of them. But this recipe is my own version and I think it’s the best!

I like to serve falafels with tahini sauce for dipping and hummus on the side along with pita bread and perhaps some tabouli salad or other veggie. Its simple and tastes so good! This meal has become a staple in our house!

Easy, Homemade Falafels

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro (or more if you are like me!)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • a pinch of cayenne
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 4-6 Tbsp. besan {chickpea} flour or all-purpose flour
  • Oil for frying
  • Pita bread

Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. (You can use canned beans, but they are not as good.) Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed. Turn out into a bowl. Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the besan 0r flour, and pulse. You want to add enough besan or flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts.

Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Note: To serve could stuff half a pita with falafel balls, chopped tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and drizzle with tahini sauce, or simply serve with the tahini on the side for dipping.

Note: Egyptians omit the cilantro and substitute fava beans for the chickpeas. You can also use half chickpeas and half fava beans.

Note: Besan is ground chickpea flour and can be found in your local Middle Eastern Market. I keep mine in a nice jar on my kitchen counter:


Tahini Sauce

  • 1 cup tahini (you can purchase this at your local grocery store or health food store or make your own – recipe below!)
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Salt

Add tahini to your food processor. Add water, a little at a time, until the sauce has the consistency of thick cream. Add lemon juice until the sauce is pleasantly tangy and season with salt if desired (I usually skip the salt. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Tahini {Sesame Seed Paste}

Tahini is one of my favorite ingredients used in Mediterranean cooking. You can purchase it at the grocery store or your local health food store, but why not make your own? It is used in the recipe above as well as other recipes such as hummus.

  • 5 cups sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil or vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350. Toast sesame seeds for 5-10 minutes, shaking the seeds frequently with a spatula. Do not allow to brown. Cool for 20 minutes. Pour sesame seeds into food processor and add oil. Tahini should be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly closed container. It will keep for up to 3 months.

Hummus

  • 1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and boiled until very soft or 1 15-oz. can of chickpeas
  • 2 – 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • juice of 2 medium lemons
  • 3/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 packed cup finely minced fresh parsley
  • black pepper to taste {optional}
  • pinch cayenne pepper {optional}

Throw everything into a food processor and blend until it has a smooth consistency, adjust flavors to taste.

Note: There is no need to wash your food processor if you made the Tahini Sauce before the Hummus or vice versa!

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3 Comments

  1. My stepdaughter makes a lot of these dishes. They especially like hummus. I will have to try these and suprise them the next time they come.

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