Sunday, March 16, 2014

Falafel with Lemon Tahini Dipping Sauce

Lebanese/Mediterranean food has always been a favorite of mine.  In High School, my family discovered an amazing market/restaurant called Neomonde in Cary, NC that not only sold Gyros, Hummus, Grape Leaves, and Tabbouleh but also served Falafel (made to order) that was to die for!  Since I have moved away from home, I have made it a goal to try and eat there whenever I visit.  A few months ago (when I was feeling particularly homesick and hungry) I decided it was time to try and make Falafel on my own.  They were amazing!! But, I didn't photograph them so I knew I had to make them again so I could share the recipe with you! Here is what you will need:


2 cups diced onion
2 cups cooked and drained chickpeas (I used one 15.5 oz. can)
6 garlic cloves
1 cup packed cilantro
1 cup packed parsley
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. all purpose flour
About 1/2 to 1 Cup Canola oil for frying (or enough to generously coat the bottom of the pan)
Pita bread (for serving)
1 Cup Sesame Seeds

Tahini Sauce:

1/4 c. Tahini
1 1/4 c. Plain Yogurt
2 Tbs. Lemon Juice


In a food processor add the diced onion and garlic cloves.  Pulse until finely minced (but not puréed). Remove mixture and set aside for later.  Add chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, salt, chili powder, cumin and pulse until roughly blended. Now, add the onion mixture along with the baking powder and 1/4 cup of the flour and pulse until the mixture begins to form a small ball and is not sticky (I had to use a bit more flour so don't hesitate to add more if your mixture is too wet). Transfer mixture to a bowl and let sit in the fridge for an hour.

While the Falafel mixture is setting, combine the ingredients for the Tahini Sauce in a blender and mix until well incorporated. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and let chill in the fridge.

About 5 minutes before the Falfel mixture is ready, begin heating Canola Oil in a sauce pan over medium heat and preheat the oven to 350.

Once chilled, remove the Falafel mixture from the fridge and (using an ice cream scoop) form mixture into balls.  Once formed, roll each ball into the Sesame Seeds making sure to fully coat the exterior. One by one, carefully drop the balls into the oil.  In my experience, they will brown rather quickly so don't take your eyes off of them! Once browned place on a cookie sheet to cool (make sure you place a paper towel underneath to make sure you don't have hot oil collecting on your countertop!)  After the Falafel has been browned, place into the oven to finish cooking through for about 10-15 minutes.

Once cooked, enjoy warm with pita and dipping sauce!

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