Monday, June 1, 2009

Falafel - Recipes to Rival Chickpea Challenge

The May Recipes to Rival - Chickpeas was a challenge of choice that centered around chickpeas in disparate forms. Lori of Lori's Lipsmaking Goodness was this month's hostess and she gave us two possibilities. We could opt to make chick pea fries using a Mark Bittman recipe or falafel using one developed by Madelain Farahand. Participants electing to make falafel also had to make homemade pita to accompany the chickpea patties. I chose the later and decided to use a recipe for Country-Style Whole Wheat Pita Bread undertaken by the Bread Baking Babes before I started blogging. Lori kindly included a tahini sauce to accompany the falafel. I made that as well as a thin tsatsiki that my husband, suspicious of non-meat entrées, could use to drown the falafel if it proved necessary. The recipe for falafel comes from Madelain Farah's, Lebanese Cuisine, Four Walls Eight Windows, 2001. My changes to her recipe are highlighted in red. I had a good time with this challenge and enjoyed the falafel. Bob maybe not so much. He didn't complain, but he used copious amounts of sauce, actually ate the tabouleh I made as an accompaniment and couldn't stop raving about the pita. Nary a word about the falafel. Go figure!

Falafel: Chickpea Patties

1 pound dried chickpeas
1 small onion, coarsely chopped 1 small grated onion + it's onion juice
1/4 cup parsley, minced
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
2 cloves garlic, crushed 3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes, optional
Salt and pepper, as needed 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 cup vegetable oil 4 cups vegetable oil for deep frying
6 to 8 pitas, tops sliced open and lightly toasted
Shredded lettuce, as needed
Tomato wedges, as needed
Sliced red onion, as needed
Sliced cucumbers, as needed
Tahini sauce (see below)


1) Soak the chickpeas in cold water in the refrigerator overnight.
2) Drain the chickpeas . Place chickpeas grated onion and onion juice, parsley and cilantro in bowl of a food processor. Add garlic, flour, coriander, baking soda, cumin, chili flakes, salt and pepper and process until finely ground and well-combined. The mixture will be slightly mealy. Using a tablespoon measure form into walnut-sized balls. Place in a single layer in a large pan, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 to 24 hours. Deep fry, six at a time, in hot oil. Drain on paper towels. Yield: 48 to 52 balls.
3) Stuff warm pita with shredded lettuce and nestle the falafel balls inside. Top with remainder of ingredients and drizzle with tahini or thin tsatsiki sauce. Serve immediately.

Tahini Sauce:

1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup lemon juice

Mash garlic and salt together. Add tahini, mixing well. Gradually add water, blending thoroughly. Add lemon juice. Blend well. Yield : 4 to 6 servings.


Lyndas recipe box said...

Your Pita bread looks perfect, Mary!This certainly sounds tasty and it seems your hubby liked it too! Thanks for sharing.

The Food Librarian said...

Oh! this looks sooo great. I love falafel but never thought of making them on my own!

Elyse said...

You did a great job with this challenge. Your falafel look amazing, as do your pita. So impressive. Falafel are one of my favorite meals. I can't wait to try out the recipe!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Elyse and Food librarian, they are really simple to do. If you like filafel i hope you'll give them a try.

Deb in Hawaii said...

Those have to be the most perfectly round falafel I have ever seen and the pita are pretty amazing too! Great job!

Chandy said...

My goodness those look good! I'll have to find time to try at the least the falafel... Mmmm!

Katy ~ said...

Mary, I want to tear into that pita bread! I love chickpeas; I'm thinking falafel would be delicious.

I was laughing out loud at your description's of Bob's reactions. I'll be smiling about that all day.

P. said...

I'm absolutely crazy for Falafel and Tahini!


Jamie said...

Your pita look more than perfect. Husband just walked by and I said "Look at her amazing, perfect pita breads!" and he said "Oh, they look so fluffy!" We are both impressed. And I love felafel but it has been ages since I have made it. Yours look gorgeous. I think I'll try them now that it is once again felafel weather.

Donna-FFW said...

Awesome job May.. Your pitas look outrageously good, and the falafel also. I have never made either.. something to aspire to!

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

These look wonderful. I love Lebanese food. There were a lot of Lebanese descendants in Mississippi when we lived there and it was so much fun to learn about their food.

Speaking of chickpeas - I bought some flour and keep meaning to make socca - the chickpea pancakes that are so popular in Nice, France. Maybe this is just the prodding I need.

Anonymous said...

Ok. I don't think I want a burger. I want those! Oh look at the inside. Ok I just had my dinner but seeing this . . . I think I'm hungry again LoL.


Cathy said...

I'm a huge falafel fan but have never tried to make it. Your sandwiches look wonderful, Mary. You are a bread baking wizard.

Ginger said...

Remind me to enter no challenge that you are entering!! The Falafel sounds amazing. I am definitely going to try this recipe. Have a great week!

Netts Nook said...

Calling all vegans looks perfect I love the tahini sauce. Your prize winning falafel is unforgetable.

Jenny @ Nourished Kitchen said...

Looks amazing! I LOVE falafel, although it's been ages since I made it.

theUngourmet said...

Your Falafel and Pita Bread turned out beautifully! Makes me want to go hunt some down today!

I used to work at Garbanzo's years ago and I got to eat Falafel,Shawarma, Hummus, and warm Pita Bread all the time. I have never gotten used to Baba Ghanoush though. I miss all of that great food!

foodcreate said...

Wonderful! I love falafel what a delicious recipe

~Mary thanks for sharing your falafel recipe:)

And you can visit me if I can visit you:)


Pam said...

You always amaze me Mary. This is a wonderful post - the pita looks PERFECT and the falafel look delicious too. I am so hungry now.

kat said...

Your falafel look perfect & such puffy pita!

Lauren said...

great job this month!

Barbara Jean said...

Love Falafel!
My daughter makes them sometimes.
thanks for coming by.

Barbara Jean

NKP said...

They are so incredibly perfect! Amazing.

Schnitzel and the Trout said...

I also have a husband who insists on meat. I honestly believe that we can blame their mothers for not having the initiative to provide something besides meat at each meal. By the way, I really love the looks of the pita and I think the falafel looks wonderful!!

Barb said...

Hi Mary, everything looks so amazing. Yummy!


Aggie said...

Your pitas look fantastic! I love falafel...I just came across another one and now I am craving some!!

noble pig said...

This is so wonderful sounding, but wow, how yummy are these.

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm so impressed!

Judi said...

Wow. I've never made those before but do like falafels....your pictures looks very delicious. I'll make note of the recipe and see if I can do the same. Great pita...yummmy..
have a lovely day and it was so nice to have you visit.
HOpe you come by again

Sara said...

Your pitas look perfect. Great job with everything.

jeanne said...

OMG Mary, those recipie's look fab but way too busy for me. My love for cooking is putting together a stew or soup and some home cooking recipes stored in my memory for years. I do try new things but not often.. I do envy your love of cooking something really involved and making food that is to die for. BIG smile.


Gaby said...

omg yummy! these look great!

Unknown said...

I love chick peas and they are such a great source of protein. I will have to jot this one down. It all looks lovely. My husband is the same way when I try to cook healthy. He's a meat and potato Irishman and it takes a while to have him adjust to new things! Happy Monday!

Maria said...

Falafel sandwiches are my favorite. Great job here!!

La Bella Cooks said...

I never think to make my own falafel but you make it sound so easy. They look delicious!

Boo-Bah AKA Iris said...

I love pita bread and your's looks especially delicious.

You have been chosen to receive an award if you are an award free zone accept my apologies. I do love your blog and your recipes look wonderful. I will definitely be back to visit again and again.


Mary Bergfeld said...

Iris, I'm thrilled by the unexpected honor. I do hope you visit with us often.

Madam Chow said...

You rock! Everything looks fabulous. I almost made the falafel and pita, but time got away from me. I still want to make them, especially after seeing your post!

Kavs said...

Your pita breads looks nicely puffed up and inviting :-) care to share the recipe?

Mary Bergfeld said...

Kavs you can link to the recipe in the post. Click on Country-Style Whole Wheat Pita Bread and that will take you to the recipe. Thanks for visiting. I hope you'll return often.

Peter M said...

Gorgeous looking pita bread and even better looking falafels. I could pop a dozen right now.

Temperance said...

Men, strange creatures. :) you take really lovely pictures, and I am pretty sure if I was your husband those pitas would have had my whole attention too.

Lady Amalthea said...

I made falafel but mine fell apart as I fried them. Any advice?

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