Sometimes, I get hit with a craving for a certain food and nothing else will do until I consume that food.
It happened today.
I had to have a falafel.
I was first introIduced to falafel, like many city dwellers, as a broke, hungry college student wandering around Washington Square Park with my fellow broke college students.
We had no idea what falafels were. But 2$? We were in.
Have you ever had a falafel?
If not, go find a falafel truck and get yourself one. I in no way claim that this recipe will taste like the fried goodness served on those trucks, but the flavors are there.
Falafel itself is fried chickpeas. What you stuff into the pita along with the falafels is entirely up to you.
We like shredded cabbage, diced tomatoes, tahini, and tzatziki (cucumber yogurt sauce) piled into a whole wheat pita. But be inventive. I’ve had amazing falafel sandwiches with dill pickles and french fries inside. Traditional? No. Yummy? Yes.
That’s the beauty of the chickpea. It pairs so well with so many things.
Here’s my quick and easy falafel recipe. These take minutes to make and you will have yourself a delicious, craving satisfying dinner on the table for Meatless Monday!
For the falafels you will need
- 1/2 a white onion
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- a handful of parsley
- 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Toss the first three ingredients in the food processor and blend.
You can the ingredients finely and add to a bowl if you don’t have a food processor.
You want the onions garlic and parsley to be well blended before you add the chickpeas.
Toss in the chickpeas and blend until you have a mixture that is a little bit chunkier than hummus. You can add a tablespoon of tahini if you like, but you can leave out if you prefer. You may need to add a bit of olive oil for some moisture.
Turn the mixture out into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before cooking. I’ve made this the night before and I think that the flavors come out the best when they’ve had the night in the fridge to get to know one another.
When you’re ready for dinner, take the mixture out of the fridge and roll into patties. I made mine like slider size.
Drizzle some oil in a pan and place the patties in, careful not to overcrowd. I cook mine in two batches. They only take a few minutes per side. They won’t be brown and crispy like the food truck falafels since we’re not deep frying them, but the essence of the flavors will be there.
When you’ve cooked all of your patties, set up a make your own falfel station with pita and whatever toppings you wish.
Assemble your falafel sandwich. If you’re like me, you’ll end up with a falafel to tzatziki ratio of about one to one. The cool, crisp yogurt and cucumber sauce cuts through the bite of the garlic, the chickpeas give the earthy meatyness that makes you forget this is a meatless monday meal, and the cabbage gives you the crunch you need to satisfy your hunger