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Falafel & Lemon Tahini Sauce

Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern dish typically made from fried ground chickpeas and served in a pita with a citrusy tahini sauce.  Mmm-mm.  Falafel is a dish that can be served any time of the day.  No, really.  You can eat this dinner dish for breakfast.  It’s SO delicious.

My husband spent some time in a few different Middle Eastern countries and literally ate Falafel every day.  It was such a cheap and delicious option, he just couldn’t get enough of it!  He’s taken me to a few different restaurants that serve Falafel and now I can’t get enough of it either!

Sooo, I decided to make it myself… a big leap for me since my husband has such high expectations for Falafel.  But, no fear!  I succeeded!  He noted that this recipe tastes just as delicious as the Falafel made in the Middle East and doesn’t leave you feeling heavy from being deep fried as is the common way to cook it there.  Now I have requests coming at me each week to make Falafel!  This recipe is super easy and doesn’t require a deep fryer or “unhealthy” oils either!

The best part about Falafel, in my opinion is the tahini sauce… OH MY GOSH it’s so good.  Tahini sauce is a paste made from sesame seeds.  Mixed with plain greek yogurt and lemon juice, you can put it on nearly anything from Falafel to toast, flatbread, chicken, fish, veggies, and quinoa!

 

The hardest part about this recipe is figuring out the timing of when to turn the Falafel patties over in the pan.  Depending upon how large you make your patties (I used a cookie scoop then flattened them a little to form thick patties), once the sides start to turn brown it’s time to flip.  The whole underside should be browned.  A bit of green spotting is okay, you just don’t want large green spots as this indicates that this half of the patty didn’t get cooked through enough.

Using Avocado oil is your best choice for frying since it can stand such high heats without reaching it’s smoking point.  When oils reach their smoking point, also known as their “flash point,” they start producing lipid oxidation products (LOP’s) which wreak havoc on your body in a plethora of ways.

Healing Gourmet notes,

“Lipid oxidation products obliterate cell membranes and break down the collagen that keeps your skin supple and youthful and keeps your joints moving smoothly. LOPs also attack the healthy cholesterol in your body and oxidize it – making it sticky and increasing the risk for the plaque that causes heart attack and stroke. LOPs destroy the delicate lens of your eye over time, creating the cloudy, opaque film we know as cataracts. And LOPs attack the most finite of your biological structures – your DNA – leading to mutations that can cause to cancer.

So when do these nasty LOPs form? ANY time you eat a fat or oil that has been used outside of its safe temperature range. And if you’re cooking with most oils, it will happen frequently.

Let me ask you these questions:

  • Does the oil in your pan ever smoke?
  • Do you reuse cooking oils?
  • Do you deep fry?
  • Do you eat commercially fried foods… ever?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you’re ingesting oxidized oils and taking in LOPs. So what is the solution? Avoid rancid oils in packaged foods and restaurants and only use cooking oils at home in their safe temperature range.”

Avocado oil has the highest smoking point of all the cooking oils out there at a whopping 520° F.!  Check out Healing Gourmet for a full list of oils and their smoking points.

Have an awesome version of Falafel or Tahini Sauce?  Let us know!

Print Recipe
Falafel & Lemon Tahini Sauce
Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern dish of ground Chickpeas served with a sauce made of tahini, greek yogurt, and lemon. Delicious for any time of the day!
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Falafel
Tahini Sauce
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Falafel
Tahini Sauce
Instructions
  1. In food processor, mix chickpeas, onion, cilantro, garlic, salt, and baking powder until well mixed, but not pureed.
  2. Slowly add flour in 1/4 cup at a time until mixture starts to form a ball and pulls away from walls of processor.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
  4. Mix tahini, yogurt, and lemon in small mixing bowl until well incorporated. This can be served cold or room temperature.
  5. With a cookie scoop, form dough into balls, then slightly flatten out to make a patty. Set aside.
  6. In large pan, pour enough oil to fully cover the bottom of pan and heat through for 2-3 minutes on med-high to high heat. Add patties to pan and cook for about 2 minutes on each side until firm and browned.
  7. Place on a cooling rack lined with paper towels to catch the extra oil.
  8. Layer pita with Falafel, tahini sauce, and greens and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Falafel can be stored in an airtight container for up to two days in the refrigerator.  After this time, the patties start to become too soft.  Tahini sauce can be stored for up to a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator.



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