Falafel with Tahini Sauce

We have a sweet little bar we love down the street that makes amazing falafel. After many lovely happy hours, I decided to give it a try for one of our dinner party nights with my sister and a few of our friends. I had eaten so many mediocre falafels, I was a bit nervous trying it our for a crowd the first time, but they turned out fantastic.  So easy too. The sauce was good, a little blah, but a nice addition. I might try something with a cucumber mint base next time. But the falafel was definitely a crowd pleaser!

Falafel with Tahini Sauce
via just a taste

For the falafel:
2 cups roughly chopped white onion
6 garlic cloves
2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
1 cup lightly packed parsley leaves
1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup all-purpose flour
Canola oil, for sauteing

For the tahini sauce:
1¼ cups plain yogurt
¼ cup tahini (sesame paste)
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Add the onion and garlic cloves to the bowl of a food processor and pulse just until they are finely minced. Remove the mixture and set it aside. 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.
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 ¼ cup of flour, and then the remaining ¼ cup. You can add more if the mixture is still too wet.)

Transfer the falafel mixture to a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1 hour.
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.

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). Set a large sauté 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. Transfer the falafel to a paper towel-lined cooling wrack and immediately season them with salt.

  1. hookedontaste said:

    These look amazing. I’ve been wanting to try a falafel since Bobby Flay did a throw down on falafel’s on tv. I like that you pan fry them instead of deep frying them. I will be making these soon. Thanks for posting.

  2. I must have missed this one. Falafel are one of my favorite things, I just love them! Your husband may remember the “Falafel Drive-in in San Jose, CA”. Add these to my list of things I would love for you to cook for me – smile.

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