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Food by VICE

Easy Homemade Falafel Recipe

Mike Solomonov's take on the iconic street food sandwich.

by Michael Solomonov
Mar 5 2019, 2:00pm

Photo by Michael Persico

Servings: 4-6
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients

for the falafel:
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 pound dried chickpeas, soaked in water overnight and drained
big handful fresh parsley
big handful fresh cilantro
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons cold water, plus more as needed
canola oil, for frying

for the tehina sauce:
1 garlic clove
juice of 1 lemon
1 (16-ounce) jar tehina
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1- 1 1/2 cups ice-cold water

for the sandwich:
6 pita bread
3 tomatoes, cored and diced
1 English cucumber, diced
1/4 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
harissa

Directions

1. Make the tehina sauce: Nick off a piece of the garlic (about 1/4 of the clove) and drop it into a food processor. Squeeze the lemon juice into the food processor. Pour the tehina on top, making sure to scrape it all out of the container, and add the salt and cumin. Process until the mixture looks peanut-buttery, about 1 minute. Stream in the ice water, a little at a time, with the motor running. Process just until the mixture is smooth and creamy and lightens to the color of dry sand.

2. Make the falafel: Mix together the baking powder, salt, cumin, and turmeric in a small bowl.

3. Layer half the ingredients in a food processor in this order: chickpeas, fresh herbs, vegetables, garlic, and the mixed dry seasonings. Repeat with the remaining ingredients in the same order. Add the water and pulse until very finely chopped and the mixture holds together when pinched between two fingers. If necessary, add a bit more water and pulse again to get the right consistency.

4. Scoop the batter into a colander set over a large bowl to drain while you make the balls. Squeeze out the liquid from the batter with your hands until the dough stays together, then shape into 1-inch balls. Set the balls aside on a plate.

5. Heat a couple of inches of canola oil to 350°F in a large pot. Lower the balls into the hot oil with a long-handled slotted spoon and raise the heat to high to maintain the temperature of the oil. Fry in batches for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the falafel balls are brown and crispy (but not burnt!).

6. Immediately transfer the falafel with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Serve hot.

7. Make your sandwich by layering 2 falafel balls with the tomatoes, cucumber, and cabbage and the tehina sauce and harissa in a pita, and repeating till the pita is full.

Reprinted with permission of the authors from ISRAELI SOUL ©2018 by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.