I first tasted falafel a few years ago at Oleana, a restaurant in the Boston area that serves phenomenal food with a Turkish and Middle Eastern spin. At the time, I didn't even know how to pronounce falafel. But soon after tasting it, I knew I wanted to try making it at home. Traditionally, falafel is made with chickpeas that are soaked, ground, and fried. There's nothing quite like falafel fresh out of the fryer, but it can become a bit heavy and dry if left sitting for too long. Ana Sortun (the owner of Oleana) makes a lighter version with vegetables and chickpea flour. I played around with different variations of her combination for awhile, but then I fell in love with the falafel of Aarti Sequeira, a personality on the Food Network. She makes hers using frozen peas, edamame and chickpea flour. I especially appreciate that she pan fries rather than deep fries her falafel because it makes the recipe more manageable for home cooks like me. I serve my falafel on homemade pita bread, accompanied by beet tzatziki, white bean hummus, and fermented pickles.
Adapted from a recipe by Aarti Sequeira
Makes about 20 patties which serves 5
Edamame can be found in the frozen food aisle of most grocery stores, or more rarely in the refrigerated produce section. Garbanzo bean flour can be found in the baking aisle or in the gluten free section. I add a small amount of butter (about 1/2 tablespoons) to the olive oil when cooking my falafel because it really helps with the browning process. Omit the butter for vegan falafel.
- ½ cup chopped shallots or onions
- 2 cloves of chopped garlic
- 2 cups frozen peas, thawed (9 oz.)
- 2 cups edamame (9 oz.) - if frozen, thaw
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil (1.65 oz.)
- Heaping ½ cup garbanzo bean flour (also called besan or chickpea flour) (2.75 oz.)
- Olive oil and butter for frying
Puree onions, garlic, peas, edamame, seasoning and ¼ cup olive oil in a food processor until fairly smooth. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in garbanzo bean flour. Form into patties. Heat olive oil and a small pat of butter in a frying pan over medium heat (try to cover the entire bottom). Panfry patties in hot oil/butter until brown on both sides. Wipe the pan between batches in order to prevent burning. Serve with tzatziki, hummus, sliced dill pickles, and pita.