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Falafel Print E-mail
Beans are one of humanity's earliest cultivated crops, and, in turn, have been critical to the survival of ancient civilizations. Today, many cultures incorporate beans into their trademark dishes. Falafel, a dish as popular in the Middle East as hamburgers are in the United States. The following recipe of the breaded garbanzo bean croquettes are complemented by a light and tangy Tomato-Cucumber Relish. Serve with pita bread.

Prep Time: 30 to 35 minutes

1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup packed parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
2-3 teaspoons lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup dry plain bread crumbs, divided
1/4 cup chopped raisins
1 egg yolk
olive oil cooking spray
Tomato-Cucumber Relish (recipe follows)
Falafels1. Process garbanzo beans, onion, parsley, garlic, cumin and oregano in a food processor until smooth; season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup bread crumbs, raisins and egg yolk.

2. Form bean mixture into 16 patties, using about 1 1/2 tablespoons for each. Coat patties with remaining 1/2 cup bread crumbs.

3. Spray large skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat until hot. Cook falafel over medium heat until browned on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Spray tops of falafel with cooking spray and turn; cook until browned on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Arrange 4 falafel on each plate; serve with Tomato-Cucumber Relish.


Tomato-Cucumber Relish
Makes about 1 cup

1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/3 cup fat-free plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon dried mint leaves (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Combine tomato, cucumber, yogurt and mint leaves in small bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper.
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