Falafel are an awesome and healthy food that is not only nutritious and delicious but easy to make. In it's most basic description, it is nothing more than ground chickpeas (and/or other legumes) mixed with seasonings and deep-fried. It is traditionally eaten as a pita sandwich laden with tarator sauce (tahini sauce), but it is great as a snack by itself or on a salad. Anyhow, there are plenty of recipes out there (all variations on a theme), but this is how I make mine.
For the falafel: In a food processor, combine a couple cups of either cooked or canned and rinsed chick peas along with a bunch of chopped cilantro (sometimes called fresh coriander), a bunch of chopped flat-leaf parsley (sometimes called Italian or Mediterranean parsley), a small chopped onion, a couple cloves of garlic, a splash of lemon juice and water, and a small amount of cumin, cayenne pepper, and kosher or sea salt. Run the food processor until the ingredients are nearly a smooth paste. Transfer this mixture to a bowl and add a small amount (maybe 1/2 cup each) of all-purpose flour and chick pea flour (if you don't have chick pea flour you can use just the wheat flour), and a 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. Knead the flour(s) into the mixture, scoop and shape it into balls (sprinkle sesame seeds on a baking sheet and scoop the falafel onto this). Press the falafel gently, shaping them into thick disks. Heat a couple inches of oil in a pan until about 350F/176C and fry the falafel for a few minutes, or until golden and cooked throughout. Drain on absorbent paper.
For the tahini sauce: Combine in a bowl, 1/2 cup of tahini paste along with 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons water, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and a couple tablespoons of minced parsley. Using a wire whisk, mix the sauce vigorously to aerate it and combine thoroughly...it should have a creamy appearance; if it is too thick add a bit more water or lemon.
Make sure you make extra falafel because you'll be snacking on them as you make the sandwiches.
Also, urbansimplicity.com is the new address for this blog; please update your bookmarks.