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If you know much about me, you may be acquainted with the fact that I fear frying. However, I love falafel. One of the NY restaurants I miss most is a hole-in-the-wall Mediterranean/pizza place. I'd order a falafel at the counter then watch them scoop up the chickpea paste and plop it into the fryer. Then they'd stuff the falafel into a pita with salad, tahini and hot sauce once they were deep brown and crisp. It was a mess and I'd devour it so fast because, ahem, I wanted to minimize the amount of tahini sauce on my clothing.
So dinner last night fell short of my falafel dreams, being only vaguely crunchy and not messy at all. But the falafel mixture had good flavor and might be worth a second go. More oil, a hotter oven or even thicker patties may produce a satisfying falafel.
I modified [link href="http://justbaking.net/2009/02/23/1016/" link_updater_label="external" target="_blank"]this recipefrom Just Baking, to halve it because I have a teeny, tiny food processor and to omit the cilantro. Into my mini processor: 1 quartered garlic clove, 1 cup garbanzo beans (chick peas), ¼ cup bread crumbs, ¼ cup torn parsley. Pulse to chop into small pieces, add a tablespoon lemon juice, and pulse again. I added a little water when it seemed kind of dry and processed to a paste. Then I added ½ teaspoon each baking powder and cumin, ¼ teaspoon salt, some black pepper and a couple shakes of Tabasco. Processed again to mix, then formed into 9 little patties. I brushed them with olive oil and put them on a foil-lined baking sheet. Baked in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes (could've gone longer to get a crunchier exterior). Served in pitas with lettuce, hot sauce and tahini mixed with lemon juice, salt and water to thin.
You know, I've never used a falafel mix; the recipe below uses one to streamline prep and allow more time for the accompanying goodies. There's also a non-vegetarian (?!) falafel recipe below. I'm game to try it.
Do you make falafel? What's your technique? Do you use a mix? — Kim Walker