World's Easiest Falafel and Tzatziki

By marisab67
May 17, 2011
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Author Notes: Is there a better street food than falafel? 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 its 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 ingredients and washing extra dishes. The falafel patties are easily formed (a good time to put children or other passersby to work) and behave well 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 takeout will seem like too much trouble. —A&MThe Editors

Serves: 4 to 6
Prep time: 27 hrs
Cook time: 1 hrs

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas, rinsed well and soaked overnight
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, divided
  • 1 bunch mint, washed, divided
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • 1 piece bread
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 lemons, juiced, divided
  • 1 cup canola oil, for frying
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 1 cup plain yogurt, Greek-style preferred
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package 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 falafel balls will fall apart.
  3. Form into 3-inch patties and let rest while tzatziki is made.
  4. Rinse processor and pulse cucumber, yogurt, remaining mint, remaining lemon juice, and the last garlic clove on low just until blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Heat the canola oil in a high-sided, heavy-bottomed pan. When hot, fry patties on medium high heat for 3 minutes each side or until golden brown.
  6. Serve with warm pita or flatbread.

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