• Time 15 to 20 minutes
  • Yield serves 4 to 6


    1 cup dried chickpeas
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 tablespoon salt
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 cup chopped onion
    2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
    2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2-1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper
    4 cloves of garlic
    1 teaspoon cumin
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    4-6 tablespoons flour
    Soybean or vegetable oil for frying
    Chopped tomato for garnish
    Diced onion for garnish
    Diced green bell pepper for garnish
    Tahina sauce
    Pita bread


    1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches Mix in 1 tsp baking soda and 1 T. salt. Let soak 10 to 12 hours then drain. Transfer chickpeas to a pot. Cover with water. Bring to a boil. Remove the foam that forms and simmer 10 minutes. chickpeas should be crisp and firm. Drain chickpeas.
    2. Heat olive oil in a frying pan and add onions. Sir and cook for 5 to 8 minutes.
    Place the drained chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.
    3. Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
    4. Form the chickpea mixture into 2 1/2-to-3-inch disks.
    5. Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 disk to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 disks at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Stuff half a pita with falafel disks, chopped tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and pickled turnips. Drizzle with tahina thinned with water.
    NOTE: Egyptians omit the cilantro and substitute fava beans for the chickpeas.
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