World's Easiest Falafel and Tzatziki

By • May 17, 2011 • 140 Comments

2,334 Save


Author Notes: Is there a better street food than falafel? You can keep your sketchy taco trucks. The smell of the balls frying, the cool, creamy tzatziki on a muggy New York afternoon. The idea that you are eating something good for you that's on the fried food pyramid. It's really got it all.
And it even comes with it's own slideshow:)
marisab67

Food52 Review: Call anything "world's easiest" and we're skeptical, but marisab67 is on to something. We'd never made falafel from scratch before and were astonished at how easy -- and fun -- it could be. The food processor does double duty for the herbed chickpea mixture and then the garlic-scented tzatziki, saving us from both fine-chopping and washing extra dishes. The falafel patties are easily formed (a good time to put children or other passersby to work) and well-behaved in the frying pan. One bite into a pita stuffed with freshly crisped falafel, doused in your perfect tzatziki and a few shakes of hot sauce, and ordering take-out will seem like too much trouble. - A&MA&M

Serves 4-6

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas, rinsed well and soaked overnight
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 bunch mint, washed
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • 1 piece bread
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 cup canola oil for frying
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 1 cup plain yogurt, Greek style preferred
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pkg. pita or flatbread
  1. Drain chickpeas and let air dry for 2 hours, or more.
  2. Process chickpeas, onion, 2 cloves garlic, half bunch mint, cilantro, egg, bread, salt and pepper, cumin and half the lemon juice on low speed until a thick paste forms. No chunks or your balls will fall apart.
  3. Form into patties and let rest while tzatziki is made.
  4. Rinse processor and pulse cucumber, yogurt, rest of mint and lemon juice and the last garlic clove on low just until blended. salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Fry patties in canola on medium high heat for 3 minutes each side or until golden brown.
  6. Serve with warm pita or flatbread.

Tags: can be made ahead, chickpeas, mediterranean, street food, Vegan, Vegetarian

Comments (140) Questions (16)

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13 days ago S.Levy

No eggs; this is crazy! Try the egyptian falafel récipe. It.'s the civilized one!

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13 days ago S.Levy

The real falafel are made with "foul akhdar" NOT chick peas! (Green beans)......

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30 days ago kareniw

Any chance this will work with canned chickpeas? I know it's not the same but it's hard to plan ahead sometimes.

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7 months ago Rich Signell

I just made these and they turned out great. I needed to add about 1/2 cup water to the food processor to get to the "thick paste" consistency. I'm glad the recipe mentions the danger of falling apart, as mine surely would have if I would not have added some water. Perhaps I didn't soak the chickpeas enough? After soaking the 2 cups of dry chickpeas, I had 3 1/2 cups of soaked chickpeas. How many cups *should* there be of soaked chick peas? Or maybe my lemons were not juicy enough? Would about 2T of lemon juice in the mix be about right? Thanks for this great recipe. And I'm a cilantro lover!! ;-)

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7 months ago Rio

OOOOPS. Somehow I missed that the beans weren't cooked. (I cooked, then drained them for the recommended amount of time)-are traditional falafels made with soaked, uncooked beans? Hmmmmm......

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7 months ago Rio

I made these, following the recipe exactly, except for increasing the recipe by 1/2. Since it called for one egg, I decided rather than try to add 1/2 a raw egg, I'd just use them both. The 'batter' turned out runny-would just that 1/2 egg make that much difference? The flavors were awesome-and I added more bread, & more beans s=to stiffen it up, but it was still a bit too liquify toffy well without disintegrating. Any ideas or tips?

Dscn2212

8 months ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I made these with students, and unfortunately they were a fail. We followed the "no chunks" directive, but they fell apart regardless. Tzatziki without dill? Really?

Stringio

9 months ago Ziba Dehzad

Making this recipe tonight!!!!

Stringio

9 months ago emily

Just made these for dinner... so tasty!!! :-) Thanks for the recipe!

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9 months ago Dianecpa

Delicious and easy! I halved the recipe and froze the leftovers for lunches!

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11 months ago SpaCook

Any thoughts as to how many cans of chickpeas this equates to? Would love to do these on the fly tonight...

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11 months ago N N Shenoy

This turned out very well, thanks a ton for sharing!

Stringio

about 1 year ago Kanchi Agrawala-Dokania

I did make falafel at home but used a premixed product and added my own variation to it. But it is not really easy finding a good falafel joint. In Manhattan, there is a truck that serves falafel which is very good and then very recently I had falafel at Central Park west, Manhattan, NY. That trumped the one that I had on the truck. Most other places serve falafel balls that are too big and undercooked.
http://thesnootyvegetarian...

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7 months ago Lichi

I see this comment is from 8 months ago, but would like to recommend a falafel that opened a few months ago next to my house - it is called "the falafel shop" on rivington street at the lower east side.
After years of being disappointing from Falafel trucks i found this place and it is delish. though i should share :)

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over 1 year ago MapToMyStomach

I just made this with my immersion blender and it totally worked!

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over 1 year ago Archizoom

no offense but when i read "easy" a small handy list of ingredients comes to mind lol

Stringio

9 months ago Scott M. Johnson

No offense but it is an easy to make recipe not easy to find in your pantry. If multiple ingredients scare you stick to mac n cheese. Lol.

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over 1 year ago Tak1976

No offense but your Tzatziki recipe is way off. I've ready your other comments saying you hate dill and use mint as a sub but that is wrong. You've also omitted olive oil which is essential to the recipe instead of lemon juice. It would be the equivalent of saying you are giving somebody marinara sauce and serving up ketchup. You should really change the name of the recipe and use a different name for your sauce because this is horribly misleading.

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over 1 year ago marisab67

http://en.wikipedia.org... or WHATEVER. It says or dill or mint. I know you're Zeus and the authority on food. Maybe you should work for wiki. Jealous of this many people liking my shit much?

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11 months ago LesleyVivien

Tak1976, I dislike dill too and am much happier eating mint.
As you know so much about food, I'm surprised you lower yourself to reading other people's recipes.

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11 months ago Nia Markantonakis

How can one not like Dill but like mint. Flavors are so vividly different. Mint is a powerful spice where you cannot use in tzaziki just a few leaves. Dill is very mild and delicate and that's what you use, in tzaziki. At least one whole cucumber (English Style) nos seeds and you need at least 3 cloves of garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt & dash of pepper. I'm from the island of Crete, Greece and trust me when I tell you this is how you make the famous, tradionally Tzaziki. Make sure you add a little salt to the shredded cucumber to get the liquids out and drain the cucumber fluids, than add it into the greek yogurt once you strained it. Sincerly, Nia Markantonakis

Jampro

8 months ago Bevi

This is a highly inappropriate remark and I am flagging it.

Jampro

8 months ago Bevi

Sorry Nia. I meant to reply on the authors comment.

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8 months ago LesleyVivien

How can one not like Dill but like mint? Easy - watch me! The flavour of dill makes me think I'm eating wet furniture.

Nia, it's a privilege to be given an original, authentic recipe, but so is being able to make changes without being rebuked for daring to stray.

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8 months ago LesleyVivien

Absolutely right. We must all like the same things made the same way. If we don't - there are ways of making us like the same things. Good luck with that one, Bevi.

There are ways of disagreeing too, and it is perfectly possible to disagree without being insulting.

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over 1 year ago Hellecoox

I tried making this using gluten-free bread, didn't work very well. Any suggestions?

I ended up adding rice and tapioca flour, but still was not good hefty falafel texture. Loved the tzatziki, much better than the gooey prefab kind in gyros shops.

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over 1 year ago marisab67

maybe cooked rice would be a good binder? a 1/4 cup or so?

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almost 2 years ago Whats4Dinner

I'm vegan now and will be making this tonight. I'll leave out the egg and skip the sauce. What I DO plan on making are little relish-y sides, kind of like how a nearby falafel truck serves it. Wish me luck! :-)

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almost 2 years ago Whats4Dinner

Okeydokey, just made them in two ways and they were delicious. I fried a batch and I baked a batch (minimizing oil). I baked it at 400F for about 20-25 minutes total, flipping them halfway through. Even my picky daughter devoured them! My son (who eats anything as long as it's mostly dead) liked them fried and baked. All around winner recipe to be repeated in our house! Thanks :-)

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over 1 year ago marisab67

THANK YOU!!! For vegans, they are perfect. A muhammara sauce would be good instead of tzatziki if you don't like soy sour cream alternatives.

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almost 2 years ago darksideofthespoon

Made these last week with homemade naan bread and again tonight with the same! Only change was I made these without cilantro, I'm a hater! ;) Loved them so much though, even converted my hubby to actually eating a meal without meat! (That is very impressive, getting him to eat a meal without meat is like trying to bathe 3 cats at once.)

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over 1 year ago marisab67

They are difficult aren't they? Husbands, not cats.

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almost 2 years ago wingirl

Hi - Just made the mixture - everyone is excited and thrilled to try them! If we have too much - better to save mixture uncooked or best to cook up each falafel and reheat later?? Thanks - mouth is watering!

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over 1 year ago marisab67

Save mix for later. They get dense when they cool.