Monday, August 29, 2011

Fresh Chickpea Falafel

Freshly made falafel is, in my opinion, one of the simple pleasures in life (kind of like a California super burrito).  I have made it a few times using a few different recipes and so far this is my favorite.  This particular recipe employs both fresh (green) chickpeas and dried, though if you don't have access to green chickpeas you can substitute in more dried ones, you just don't get the same bright color.  As an alternative, I have seen frozen chickpeas periodically at Costco and almost always at Whole Foods.

Fresh Chickpea Falafel
yield: 4 servings
1 1/4 c fresh chickpeas
2 c dried chickpeas, cooked and drained
6 T bulgur wheat
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T ground cumin
1 T baking soda
1/4 c mixed mint, cilantro and parsley, chopped
salt to taste

In a food processor, pulse the onion, garlic and bulgur until finely chopped.  Add the remaining ingredients and process until the mixture comes together into a medium-smooth paste, scraping down the sides frequently.  Transfer to a container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Make the paste into patties about 2" in diameter and 1/2" thick.  Press the mixture firmly together so it will hold it's shape when you fry them.  To cook, heat a heavy skillet and add about 1/4" of oil (canola or other neutral oil).  When the oil begins to shimmer, add in the patties and cook until well browned on each side.  Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with pita, tzatziki, tomatoes and your favorite accompaniments.

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