Although I love falafel, deep frying is not something that occurs in my kitchen. I just don’t like dealing with the mess, and vast quantities of hot oil kind of freak me out. I still wanted to try and make some of these addictive chickpea patties myself, but I was wondering if it would even be worth it since they weren’t going to be fried. It was!

These do not have the crisp exterior and fluffy interior that fried falafel has, but they have amazing flavor and are still great wrapped up with vegetables in some pita. They’re probably a whole lot healthier than the fried variety too.

The recipe I used recommended soaking dried chickpeas overnight, so that’s what I do, but if you successfully used canned, I’d love to hear about it! I like mine really spicy so I tend to add a lot of cayenne, but of course you can leave it out if you prefer.

Also, if you’re looking for a sauce or spread to go with these in a pita, try mixing a little siracha, tahini, and plain yogurt (sadly I didn’t discover this until after I took the picture). It sounds a little weird, but it’s the perfect combination of creamy and spicy, and it goes surprisingly well with these.

(adapted from Epicurious)

Makes 18-24 patties

1 cup dried chickpeas
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried coriander
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon baking powder
up to 4 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
Olive oil, for baking.

24 hours before you plan to make felafel, put the chickpeas in a bowl and cover with a few inches of water. Let soak overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350.

When you’re ready to proceed, drain the chickpeas and rinse. Put them in a food processor with the onion, parsley, salt, cayenne, garlic, cumin, coriander, and lemon juice. Pulse until you have a slightly chunky paste. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the baking powder. Add the flour 1 tbsp at a time, adding just enough so that you can form the mixture into a ball.

Pour about 2 tbsp olive oil into a glass 13 x 9 pan. Pat about 2 tbsp of batter (dough?) at a time into a 3/4″ thick patty. Arrange 12 in the pan, and bake for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through (when the bottom is golden brown). When both sides are evenly browned, remove and set aside. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve on pita with lettuce, tomato, and tahini sauce.

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