FALAFEL (Middle Eastern ground chickpea patties with tahini sauce, for six)

   Meatballs, falafel 2

1-1/4 cups dried chick peas (7 ounces)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

¾ cup finely chopped onion (1 medium)

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

¾ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon cayenne

about 6 cups vegetable oil (48 fluid ounces)

tahini sauce

pita pockets


  1. Soak the chickpeas in cold water to cover by 2 inches in a bowl at room temperature for at least 12 hours. (Chickpeas can be soaked for up to 24 hours.) Drain well in a colander.
  2. 2.  Puree chickpeas with all remaining ingredients except oil, tahini sauce and pita pockets, in a food processor until as smooth as possible, about 2 minutes. Spread puree in a 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pan and let dry, uncovered, 1 hour.
  1. Scoop 2 tablespoons of puree onto a long sheet of wax paper, then press and pat with your fingers into a 2 -inch-wide patty.  (Pressing the puree will help the patty hold together when frying).  Make a small hole in the center of the patty with the tip of your pinkie finger (to help cook evenly).  Make more patties in same manner.
  1. Heat about 1 inch oil in a 4 to 5 quart heavy pot (preferably cast iron) until a deep fat thermometer registers 340*. Working in batches of 4, gently drop patties into hot oil, they fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes, and transfer to paper towels to drain.  Return oil to 340* between batches.  Serve falafel warm or at room temperature.


from Gourmet Magazine, January, 2004

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