Homemade Falafel with Tahini sauce

I’m a sucker for a really delicious and well made falafel – it must be light, crispy, and full of fresh, vibrant flavors! I must say I really miss the yummy Middle Eastern food at La Shish in the metro Detroit area and every once in a while I have a hankering for those delicious meals that always involved lots of  pita bread with hummus and falafels with tahini sauce. I was convinced if I did enough research I would be able to replicate a recipe that could provide the great flavors I remembered from many meals during my college years in Michigan! The falafel comes together very easily with a food processor and the tahini sauce was a breeze – you quickly pan fry the falafel balls and let cool slightly before seasoning with salt and enjoying! 

Falafel

Falafel Scooped Out

Homemade Falafel with Tahini Sauce
Serves 6
A delicious Middle Eastern dish of spiced mashed chickpeas formed into balls and pan fried - warm pita and a homemade tahini sauce accompany the falafels.
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Prep Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
6 min
Prep Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
6 min
For the falafel
  1. 2 cups roughly chopped white onion
  2. 6 garlic cloves
  3. 2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
  4. 1 cup lightly packed parsley leaves
  5. 1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  8. 2 teaspoons cumin
  9. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  10. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  11. Canola oil, for sauteing
  12. Pita bread, for serving
For the tahini sauce
  1. 1 1/4 cups plain yogurt (full fat or non-fat)
  2. 1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
  3. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Add the onion and garlic cloves to the bowl of the food processor and pulse just until they are finely minced. Remove the mixture and set it aside.
  2. Add the chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, salt, chili powder, and cumin to the bowl of the food processor and pulse until they are roughly blended but not pureed.
  3. Return the onion mixture to the food processor, along with the baking powder and just enough flour so that when you pulse the processor, the mixture begins to form a small ball and is not sticky. (Note: Start by adding 1/4 cup of flour, and then the remaining 1/4 cup. You can add more if the mixture is still too wet.)
  4. Transfer the falafel mixture to a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1 hour.
  5. While the falafel mixture is chilling, prepare the tahini sauce by whisking together the yogurt, tahini and lemon juice. Season it with salt and pepper, cover it and place it in the fridge.
  6. Once the falafel mixture has chilled, use a small ice cream scoop or spoons to form the mixture into balls (roughly 3 tablespoons per ball). (Note: You can also add additional flour at this point, if the mixture is too wet to scoop.)
  7. Set a large saute pan over medium heat and add a liberal amount of canola oil so that the pan is well-coated. Let the pan pre-heat for 3 minutes then add the falafel one by one, browning them on the first side for 3 minutes, then flipping them once and browning the second side until the mixture is cooked throughout.
  8. Transfer the falafel to a paper towel-lined cooling wrack and immediately season them with salt. Repeat this process until you have cooked all of the falafel.
  9. Place three or four falafel inside a halved, warmed pita and drizzle with the prepared tahini sauce.
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