Tiny secret- I love falafel. In fact, I love pretty much all middle eastern food (I’m looking at you hummus). I’m pretty lucky to live near some pretty great middle eastern restaurants that I frequent on busy weeknights when I don’t have time to cook. But with summer here and my desire for everything to be “fresh,” I opted to make my own falafel fritters at home, and they did not disappoint. In fact…I’m not sure if I can ever head back to my favorite falafel spot as I may have outdone them (in my opinion of course).
Falafel actually isn’t even that difficult to make, nor does it require that many ingredients. When I decided to make this I was surprised that I actually had everything on hand already. Of course, the main ingredient in falafel is chick peas, they are such a great versatile little legume. I love throwing them in toss salads for a little extra oompf. And did you know they are high in protein, fiber, iron, calcium,
(and a lot more but you can just google it)?
Pro-tip: If they are getting too sticky wet your hands with cold water.
A lot of recipes for homemade falafel will have you throw everything into the food processor, but I feel like that can make everything a little too fine. I personally, prefer mine to be a bit coarser, so instead I grab my trusty potato masher. Who knew it had more than 1 use? It also makes the cakes feel less dense when we were eating them. I also hand packed them a bit loose and then softly pressed them down on a baking sheet before frying in a shallow pan with olive oil. They feel a bit delicate so I used a slotted spatula or a fish turner would work
if I ever remember to order myself one before times like this.
Let them drain on a wire rack and prep a salad on the side. You can really make any kind of salad you want but I went with a tomato, cucumber and red onion salad with loads more fresh parsley.
The yogurt lemon sauce is simple to make, I tossed half of it in my salad and served the other half on the side for “extra” dipping and a topping.
We also grilled up some pita to serve on the side. Brett made a little sandwich with his, but I have tiny hands and ended up just deconstructing mine and eating it with a fork and knife.
Falafel Fritters with Lemon Yogurt Sauce
- 30oz chickpeas, drained
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 Tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (additional 1 cup whole leaf if you are adding to salad)
- 3/4 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
- 1 medium red onion, 1/4 cup finely chopped and reserve another half for optional salad.
- juice of 1/2 a lemon (about 2 Tbsp)
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided (for frying in smaller batches)
- Salt + Pepper
Mix chickpeas, egg, cornstarch, cumin, 1/4 cup parsley, 1/4 cup chopped red onion and 1/4 cup yogurt in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Using a potato masher, mash up the contents of the bowl with a potato masher (or throw everything in the food processor) until it is well mixed and the desired texture you prefer (I left mine on the coarser side). Using an ice cream scoop or a measuring cup, spoon out about 1/4 cup of mixture and roll into balls with your hands. Place each ball on a baking sheet and using your palm flatten them to about a 1/2″-thick patty. In a skillet heat up half your olive oil and add half of your patties, evenly spaced apart. Cook for about 3-5 minutes until they are golden brown, flip them and cook another 3-5 minutes. Transfer to wire rack. Yogurt sauce- whisk 1/2 cup remaining yogurt and 2 TBSP lemon with salt and pepper.