Falafel 101

Falafel (recipe adapted from here - it's worth checking out the Editor's Note on the original recipe, which has some interesting history on falafel, as well as some variations)


A Middle Eastern dish of spiced mashed chickpeas or other pulses formed into balls and deep-fried.

We just ate this for lunch ... I've been wanting to try falafel for a while, ever since my friend Andrea mentioned that she had made some.  Since I'm always looking for new ways to use beans, this idea popped into my head when I unpacked my stash of dry goods last week.  I'm so glad I finally tried it out - I will do it again, and will continue to play with the spices and garnishes for fun.

1 c. dried chick peas (garbanzo beans)
1/2 of a large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. salt
1/2 - 1 tsp. dried hot pepper
4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. baking powder
4-6 Tbsp. flour
oil for frying
Garnishes: chopped tomato, chopped lettuce, diced onion, diced green bell pepper, yogurt sauce (my own addition; see recipe below), pita bread

Yogurt sauce:
1/2 of a lime, juiced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c. plain yogurt
salt and pepper to taste

Put the chick peas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches.  Let soak 12-24 hours, then drain.  Or, use canned chick peas, drained.
Place the drained, uncooked chick peas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.  Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin.  Process until blended but not pureed.
Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse.  You want to add enough flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands (I ended up using about 5 tablespoons total).  Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
Heat oil in a pan over medium to medium-high heat.  Form the chick pea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts (or, if you're from the south, about hush-puppy size).  Fry in hot oil a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.
Stir together ingredients for yogurt sauce with a whisk until thoroughly combined.
To serve, stuff half a pita with falafel balls and desired garnishes.  Drizzle with yogurt sauce.

Well, folks, it's official - for the first time ever, we are residents of a state that is waaaayy north of the Mason-Dixon line.  It's kinda fun, and we're acting rather touristy in the area so far.  We've gotten lost with and without a GPS, with and without a map (we've even gotten lost with the GPS and a map on our side ... ); we've been inducted into the neighborhood by both a salesman and a cop showing up on our doorstep within days of our arrival; we met some folks up the street who may become our token locals; and we've rocked to a Louisiana zydeco band at an outdoor concert.  Today we procured library cards; the coming week will usher in new cards of the motor vehicle, insurance, and bank sort ... so, yes, we're hard at work becoming local!

Both the Mr. and I have remarked at the crazy amount of time and energy it takes to move, but then we have to remember: yes, we've both moved numerous times in our lives (a combined 20+ times, which is nothing to sniff at), but we've never moved when all of the following circumstances have applied to us:
1. a move while responsible for a toddler
2. a move while responsible for a pet
3. a move out-of-state (is out-of-region a term?)
4. a move while pregnant (aka, unwilling unable to lift much in the way of boxes or furniture)
5. a move when we're the responsible ones, financially/socially speaking
6. a move from rural Tiny Town to bustling Mid-Sized City
7. a move in the dead middle of summer, to a place without central air, with only one fan, and with awesome overwhelming morning and afternoon sun coming in through big windows.  (I know I will be thankful for the sun, come winter!)

So, we're trying to cut ourselves some slack.

Speaking of which, I will post pictures later.  For right now, I'm going to join the rest of the family in naptime.

PS.  Can I mention that this is my 200th blog post?  I'm a little proud.


  1. Hey! We should talk soon! Glad to hear u r getting things done! Miss u friend!

  2. Call me a wimpy Southern Californian (I still haven't gotten used to the heat or cold or humidity), but I think you should get at least one window AC unit. Especially while pregnant!

    Ellis is adorable. Love those golden locks!