10/5/12 - Falafel

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1 cup dried chickpeas

1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 jalapeno pepper

4 cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon baking powder

4 tablespoons flour

Vegetable oil for frying

Chopped tomato for garnish

Diced onion for garnish

Diced green bell pepper for garnish

Tahini sauce

Tzatziki sauce

Pita bread

Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain.

Place the onion, parsley, cilantro, salt, jalapeno pepper, garlic, and cumin in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process till well chopped. Add the drained, uncooked chickpeas and process until blended but not pureed. Mixture should still be a little rough

Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons flour, and pulse. You want to add enough flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.

If deep frying, form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts, or use a falafel scoop, available in Middle-Eastern markets. Then heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

If cooking in a non-stick pan, form into small patties. Heat non-stick pan over medium-high heat and lightly spray with cooking oil. Cook until patties brown, flip and cook next side.

To serve, stuff half a pita with falafel balls, chopped tomatoes, onion, and green pepper. Top with tzaziki (recipe following) or drizzle with tahini thinned with water.

Tzatziki

16 ounces (2 cups) strained Greek yogurt

4-10 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped

2 tablespoons dill, chopped

1 tablespoon mint, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Combine oil and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Fold in yogurt, making sure it completely mixes in with oil. Add garlic, according to your taste. Mix in cucumber and stir until well blended. Serve chilled.