Monday, July 14, 2014

Chickpea Falafel with Tahini

My review copy of Silk Road Vegetarian came at the perfect time: right as I was set to embark on a 21-day plant-based eating challenge. Having a book filled with vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free recipes to fall back on was definitely helpful!

There were a ton of awesome looking recipes in the book, but I was most excited about the chickpea falafel. I’m a huge falafel fan, but I’d never tried making it at home!

The flavor of these was amazing! I was a little nervous about using so much coriander and cumin, but in the end it was the perfect amount.

The original recipe calls for starting with dry chickpeas, but since I've never had good luck with those, I adapted it to work with canned beans. Eliminating the need to soak the beans overnight also cut down on a lot of prep time. It’s helpful to let the batter chill for an hour, but aside from that these falafel only take a few minutes to make.

The falafel are delicious warm, but they’re also great served at room temperature, so you can make them ahead and bring along on a picnic. I served them with lemon wedges, tahini, kalamata olives, pepperoncini, and Kale and Quinoa Tabbouli for a delicious and filling vegetarian meal.

Chickpea Falafel with Tahini
by Lauren
adapted from Silk Road Vegetarian

1 large can (29-ounce) chickpeas, drained
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4-6 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup prepared tahini paste
1 lemon, juiced
1 pinch cayenne pepper
Lemon wedges

Add the chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, and spices to a food processor. Process 15-20 seconds, or until a thick paste forms. Do not over-process; the mixture should still have a little texture to it. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Add enough oil to a skillet to lightly coat the bottom. Heat over medium-high heat. Drop tablespoons of batter onto the hot pan; cook 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Carefully transfer to a paper towel. Add more oil to the pan as needed and fry the remaining falafel.

Whisk together the tahini and lemon juice; season with cayenne pepper. Serve the falafel with tahini and lemon wedges.

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