Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Falafel for John

For one of my dearest friends, who is doing a badass job running a kitchen in northern Michigan. Here's the recipe I seem to be unable to email you.


The chickpeas in this recipe must be soaked overnight; you can not substitute canned beans or quick-soaked chickpeas because their texture will result in soggy falafel. A wire spider comes in handy here when cooking the falafel. Serve the falafel in lavash or pita bread with lettuce, pickled vegetables, and chopped tomatoes or cucumbers, or as an hors d’oeuvres with the tahini sauce as a dip. This recipe was published in our cookbookThe Best International Recipe.


  • Tahini Sauce
  • 1/2cup tahini
  • 1/4cup juice from 2 lemons
  • 1/2cup water
  • 2medium garlic cloves (about 2 teaspoons), minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • Salt
  • Falafel
  • 6ounces dried chickpeas (1 cup), rinsed, picked over, and soaked overnight in water to cover by an inch
  • 5scallions, chopped coarse
  • 1/2cup packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3medium garlic cloves (about 1 tablespoon), minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • 1/2teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2quarts vegetable oil, for frying


  1. 1. FOR THE TAHINI SAUCE: Process all of the ingredients in a food processor until smooth, about 20 seconds. Season with salt to taste and set aside. (The sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Bring to room temperature and stir to combine before serving.)
    2. FOR THE FALAFEl: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 200 degrees. Drain the chickpeas, discarding the soaking liquid. Process all of the ingredients except for the oil in a food processor until smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down the bowl as needed. Form the mixture into 1 tablespoon-sized disks, about 1/2 inch thick and 1 inch wide, and arrange on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. (The falafel can be refrigerated at this point for up to 2 hours.)
    3. Heat the oil in a 5-quart large Dutch over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. (Use an instant-read thermometer that registers high temperatures or clip a candy/deep-fat thermometer onto the side of the pan.) Fry half of the falafel, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain 375 degrees, until deep brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet using a slotted spoon or wire spider and keep warm in the oven. Return the oil to 375 degrees and repeat with the remaining falafel. Serve immediately with the sauce.