Falafel with Tahini Sauce and Cucumber & Mint Dip
- 250 g (8 oz) dried chickpeas, soaked for 24 hours and drained
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ cup chopped coriander
- Oil for frying
- 250 g (8 oz) of thick yoghurt (e.g. Greek yoghurt)
- ½ a cucumber
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tbsp chopped mint
- 6 tbsp tahini paste
- Juice of a lemon
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ tsp salt
- Place the chickpeas in a food processor and process for about 1 minute. Remove and place in a large bowl.
- Process the onion and garlic.
- Mix all the falafel ingredients together in a bowl. Press firmly into golf-ball sized balls.
- Deep fry the falafel for about 3 minutes until they are golden brown and crispy.
- Prepare the Cucumber & Mint dip: Crush the garlic clove into a large bowl. Add in the yoghurt and mix well.
- Peel the cucumber, cut in half lengthways, scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon, and grate the remaining flesh. Add this into the yoghurt together with the mint. Season with black pepper and mix well.
- Prepare the Tahini Sauce: Crush the garlic clove into a bowl. Add in the salt, tahini paste and the lemon juice and beat to a creamy sauce.
Take my advice: Never, never, NEVER use canned chickpeas to make falafel. The way the chickpeas are cooked means that they tend to have a high moisture content which will cause your falafel to disintegrate when you try to fry them. You have been warned…
Other falafel variations are:
Use dry broad beans (fava beans) or a 50:50 broad bean:chickpea mix (Egypt).
Add a couple of teaspoons of parsley into the mix (Palestine, Egypt).
Add a chopped leek into the mixture (Egypt).
Use black-eyed peas instead of chickpeas and serve with red chili sauce (Yemen, apparently!).
Finally, it is possible to bake the falafel although the taste and texture will be different.