The first time I heard someone say the word, I thought my ears heard them wrong, so I chimed in, “I love waffles! Where are you going to get some?” I got the weirdest look, and they replied, “Falafel, not waffle.” With a sheepish look, I made some (lame) excuse and walked away, making a mental note to do some research (and think before I speak!).
For those of you who don’t know what falafel is, it’s a Middle Eastern dish made of mashed chickpeas, onions, and herbs and spices. The mixture is shaped into balls or patties and fried, although the patties can just as easily be cooked in a pan with less oil. The falafel is then typically served inside pita bread with a yogurt sauce as a sandwich.
These falafels have a, erm, unique array of ingredients, mainly because those were the leftovers I had on hand from previous dishes. I had lots of difficulties keeping the patties together and resulted to using a rubber spatula (not the flipper-variety but the kind used to scrape bowls when baking) to transfer the patties to the pan and flip them. Don’t get discouraged if your first few fall apart, they still taste delicious!
I made mine into mini-falafels, basically two-bite patties, but you can use more in your patty to make them larger for a sandwich.
½ c canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 slice whole wheat bread, torn into small pieces
4-5 baby carrots
1 small clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp dried onion flakes
1 tsp olive oil
1½ tbsp honey
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground black pepper
¼ c. plain, nonfat yogurt
dash of salt
- Add radishes, carrots, garlic, and onion to a food processor and process until veggies look minced. Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT yogurt and process until smooth.
- Working with about 1½ tbsp of the chickpea mixture, shape into a patty and place on a clean plate. Shape the rest of the mixture into patties of similar size. Patties should be about ½-inch thick.
- Heat 2-3 tsp olive oil in a large pan over medium-low to medium heat and cook patties for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Be careful when transferring patties to and from the pan, as well as when flipping!
- Plate the falafel and top each with 1-2 tsp of yogurt. Serve warm.