falafel from scratch

cooking falafel 

i am really quite biased against mixes. let me be blunt – i hate to use them because i think that i could put together something better from scratch, and i’m particular about flavors, ingredients, etc. the only thing i make from a mix is falafel (and hummus, on one occasion…ok, and pancakes once or twice. shoot, my statement is really falling apart here – i sound like a hypocrite!!). 

but seriously, to me, falafel is a magical delicious food that either comes from a box or a falafel eatery. period. but in this month’s vegetarian times, there was a recipe for making falafel from scratch, and i figured that if there was ever a time to tackle this delicacy, this was it. so i put the ingredients on my grocery list, headed out to the store, and surprisingly quickly and easily blended myself some delicious falafels. 


all the ingredients are ready for a whirl 

this recipe – for both falafels and a yogurt sauce (much like the indian raita sauce) is absolutely delicious. it produced the lightest falafel balls i’ve ever consumed, rich with classic falafel spices and a hint of lemon. i served them hot, wrapped in pita bread and topped with tomatoes, cucumber, and the yogurt sauce. to be honest with you, dear readers, i will probably still make falafel from a mix most of the time due to the speed and ease of falafel mix – but i will keep this recipe handy to use when i’m feeling like eating light, delicate, fancy falafel. 

falafel toppings 

falafel from scratch

 adapted from vegetarian times
yields 4 servings
  • falafel
  • 1 15oz can garbanzos, drained and rinsed
  • 3T tahini
  • 1 large egg
  • 2T grated lemon zest
  • 1½t ground cumin
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1t lemon juice
  • 1/2t chili powder
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1/4c all purpose flour
  • 2T roughly chopped onion
  • 2T parsley
  • 1/2t baking powder
  • olive oil for frying
  • yogurt sauce
  • 1/2c plain yogurt
  • 1T chopped cilantro
  • 2t lemon juice
  • 1t grated lemon zest
  • 1t ground cumin
  • dash salt
  1. heat olive oil in large frying pan
  2. to make falafel, pulse garbanzos, tahini, egg, lemon zest, cumin, garlic, lemon juice, chili powder, salt, all purpose flour, onion, parsley, and baking powder in food processor until blended but chunky
  3. shape 1/4c of mixture into 1 inch thick patties and place into hot oil in pan
  4. cook patties 3 minutes per side until golden brown, then transfer to paper towel lined plate to drain
  5. to make yogurt sauce, combine yogurt, cilantro, lemon juice, lemon zest, and cumin in small bowl and season with salt and pepper
  6. stuff falafel into pita pockets and cover with yogurt sauce and toppings of your choice and enjoy!

finished product

5 thoughts on “falafel from scratch”

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