Traditional Israeli Falafel

Serves 6-8

During the nine days, falafel is a perfect menu item and in the spirit of supporting Israel and the gratitude for the people helping the soldiers with food (did you read the blog?), money and their basic necessities, it just feels right to make falafel at home too. This one is delicious with both tahini sauce and yogurt sauce. Don’t forget to serve it with the Israeli Carrot Salad with Lemons and Spices. It will make your house smell like Israel.

2 1/4 cups cooked chickpeas
3 scallions, coarsely chopped
1 large clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1 egg
1 lemon, juiced
Kosher salt
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup flour, plus 1/4 cup flour for shaping patties
Vegetable oil, for frying

In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, scallions, garlic, cumin, coriander, cayenne, parsley, cilantro, egg, and lemon juice. Pulse to combine and season with salt. The mixture will not be smooth, but it should not have large chunks.

Add in the baking powder and 1/3 cup of the flour and pulse to just combine. Remove to a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Remove the chickpea mixture from the refrigerator. Add enough oil to a large saute pan so it reaches 1/2-inch up the sides and heat it over medium-high heat until an inserted thermometer reads 360 degrees F.

Meanwhile, drop spoonfuls of the chickpea mixture onto a plate with 1/4 cup flour. Roll into balls on the floured plate and press gently into patties. Fry in batches of hot oil for about 3 to 4 minutes each side and drain on paper towels. Serve in fluffy pita, with lettuce, chopped tomatoes, tahini or yogurt sauce and Israeli Carrot Salad with Lemons and Spices.

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