Written by Tessa Englund
Part of National Nutrition Month 2014
Maybe you’ve heard of falafels on TV, seen them on a menu, or have been lucky enough to try them! Falafels are traditionally made using chickpeas as a base. Similar to a spicier, Mediterranean version of hush puppies, they are usually also fried with a crispy outside and softer inside. There are countless ways to make falafels using a chickpea base; dried chickpeas, canned, chickpea flour, or even a falafel mix. Today I decided to use the rest of some leftover chickpea flour to make these versatile patties-which I also find easiest as a busy college student since I don’t always have the equipment or time to process whole beans. Chickpeas, in any form, are also a great source of protein, folate, and manganese according to the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, so no need to feel guilty about these delicious bites!
Some yummy falafel patties I got at a local Mediterranean restaurant in Virginia. They’re the perfect finger food but also go great in sandwiches!
- 1 cup Chickpea Flour (aka Garbanzo Bean flour)
- 1 tsp. Sea Salt
- 1/3 tsp. Baking Soda
- 1/2 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley
- 1½ tsp. ground Cumin
- ¼ tsp. ground Coriander
- 1 ½ tsp. Garlic Powder
- ¼ tsp. Onion Powder
- 1 Tbsp. fresh Lemon Juice
- ½ cup Hot Water
- 2 Tbsp. Oil (For Frying)
- Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and blend
- Add the Lemon Juice and Hot water, stirring until distributed, let rest for 10 min
- Heat oil on medium-high heat in a frying pan
- When oil is hot, spoon batter by the tablespoon into the pan
- Flatten patties slightly and fry on both sides until golden brown
- Let cool and pat dry with a paper towel
Total Time: 15-20 minutes
Makes 12 patties
- Serve in a pita with tomato and tahini sauce or as a salad (arugula especially!) topper
- Make a great falafel burger by just increasing the portion size to a heaping 1/3 cup and flattening even more on the skillet before turning over
Lemon Tahini Dressing
- ¼ cup Tahini
- 2 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
- 2 Garlic Cloves Finely Minced
- Hot Water to thin to desired consistency (add in slowly) – start with 1/2 tbsp.
- Salt to taste
- Optional: Fresh Parsley, Basil, Cilantro and maybe even lime instead of lemon juice, finely minced red onion
- Mix by hand in a bowl or use a blender to mix ingredients thoroughly and you’re done!
At the store I grabbed a couple of pitas and used the veggies I had on hand to make a healthy and filling sandwich. Into the pita went a handful of spinach, Roma tomatoes, red onion, and my hot falafels, followed by a glaze of lemon tahini dressing with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Falafel patties are very a fast and healthy way to make a starter for any meal. Salads, pitas, dippers; the list is endless for these Mediterranean wonders. Please comment and let me know how you made your falafels into a meal. Falafels are popular in Greece, Israel, Egypt and many other countries- there are endless ways to spice up the recipe so please share your own versions!
USDA. “Chickpea flour.” National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.