Simple Falafel

Falafel is not something I grew up eating, but at some point a few years back, hubby must have decided to order some and I discovered how delicious it is.  I have had it a few times since, but it never occurred to me to make it at home.  That is, until I signed the munchkin up for a cooking class this spring which had a different country theme each week.  When it came time to learn about Israel, the food of the week was falafel, served with hummus and pita bread.  The recipe had to be easy and quick in order for 2 year olds to be able to make and eat it within the 45 minute class time, and the result was delicious!  Well, the munchkin really was only interested in the pita bread, but I didn’t mind finishing off her portion :).  When I got home I did a quick internet search and found a recipe that sounded just like what we made in class.

I ended up making a few changes.  The biggest was that I’m really not up for deep frying at home, so I pan fried my falafels instead.  I also left out the garlic and used dried parsley instead of fresh.  Happily, my home version was just as good as the ones from class.  The only problem is it’s a little tricky to keep them from falling apart when not deep frying, but I’m totally willing to overlook that for a healthy non-meat based meal!

 

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Simple Falafel
adapted from mideastfood.about.com

1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 medium onion, cut into chunks
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon coriander
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flour
oil for frying (canola or vegetable)

Combine all ingredients (except oil) in a food processor to create a thick paste.

Preheat a large (non-stick) pan over medium heat.  Add enough oil to just barely cover the bottom of the pan.  When the oil is hot, drop 2 tablespoon balls of the mixture into the pan and flatten slightly (I did this with a large cookie scoop).  Don’t overcrowd the pan.  Gently flip when the first side is brown and crispy, approximately 5 minutes, and cook another 5 minutes on the other side.  Repeat additional batches with remaining mixture as needed.

Serve with pita, hummus, salad, yogurt/lemon/tahini sauce, or eat on their own.

Makes approximately 20 falafel patties.
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