close up shot of falafel in a white bowl

Falafel with homemade Tzatziki

I...love...FALAFEL there's no surprise there. Maybe I just have a deep love for Lebanese food...ether way I had no idea how easy they are to make. Like, crazy easy so I thought to share it with you all.

What I love about these deep-fried balls of chickpea and spices is how versatile they are. Toss them into a salad, stuff them in a warm pita, dip them fresh tzatziki, or any other sauce you have on hand. However, you decide to munch on these guys you won’t regret making this recipe. 

Falafel with homemade tzatziki.

Fluffy and crispy traditional falafel recipe, delicious in salads, pitas or dipped in a homemade taziki.

Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Greek, Mediterranean
Keyword falafel, greek, vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 9 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 9 hours 20 minutes
Servings 25 balls
Brittany Food Crush

Ingredients

Falafel

  • 1 lb dry chickpeas soaked for at least 9 hours. Canned chickpeas will not work.
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • 1 small yellow onion roughly chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic or roasted garlic see recipe notes.
  • 1 Tbsp salt more to taste
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • ½ Tbsp coriander
  • ½ Tbsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • Pinch ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp zatar
  • 2-3 Tbsp chickpea flour or whole white flour.
  • 1 tsp baking soda - makes falafel fluffy
  • vegetable oil for frying grapeseed, sunflower, avocado, canola, or peanut oil.

Tzatziki

  • 1 ½ cup greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 1 lemon, juiced, zested
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Instructions

Prep: Soaking chickpeas

  1. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 3 inches. Add 1/2 tsp of baking soda to the water and stir; this will help soften the chickpeas. Cover the bowl and let them soak for at least 9 hours to overnight in the fridge, then drain. Tip: to speed up soak time, lightly crush the chickpeas with a potato masher halfway through the soaking time.

Form and Fry:

  1. After soaking, drain and rinse chickpeas. Put into a food processer along with cilantro, parsley, onion, garlic, and all the dry spices. Process until blender.

  2. Sprinkle in baking soda and flour until a dough starts to form. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. After chilling, form the mixture into balls.

  3. Heat 3 inches of oil to 375° in a deep skillet or pot. Before I start my first batch I like to test with frying one ball in the center of the pan to see if the oil is at the right temperature.

    Working in small batches, fry the balls for 2-3 minutes on each side (5-6 minutes total). If they brown too fast, your oil may be too hot and will overcook your falafel so turn it down.

    If they start to fall apart, place the mixture back into the food processor, add in more flour and ⅛ tsp baking powder, blend then reform balls.

    After frying to a golden brown, remove with a slotted spoon, then transfer onto a paper down to drain excess oil. Lightly salt the freshly fried balls.

HOW TO MAKE A FALAFEL PITA:

  1. Simply, stuff pita bread with falafel. You can also add lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red pickled onions, olives, banana peppers, tzatziki.

Tzatziki

  1. Peel and deseed the cucumber, grate the cucumber onto a paper towel or cheesecloth then squeeze the grated cucumber pulp with your hand to remove some of the liquid.

    In a bowl combine the cucumber pulp, yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice, zest, vinegar, chopped dill, minced garlic, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, stir. Adjust to taste.

    Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to serving so flavors have time to infuse. Enjoy

Recipe Notes

Troubleshooting: If your falafel is too hard/too crunchy on the outside, it could be because...

A. you didn't blend the mixture enough, so return the chickpea mixture to the processor to make it more blended.

B. the chickpeas didn't soak long enough.

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