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!