Break out of your ground beef hamburger rut with a falafel burger.
History of Falafel
Falafel is a popular Middle Eastern dish consisting of deep-fried balls or patties most commonly made from ground chickpeas and mixed with various herbs, spices, and onions.
While the exact origin of falafel is debated by historians, there’s no doubt that in the 20th century falafel gained widespread popularity as a street food in Middle Eastern countries including Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, and Turkey. Falafel is considered the “National Dish” of Israel.
Tips For Making Falafel
Here are some tips and tricks for perfecting your homemade falafel burger.
1. Use dried chickpeas. Soak them overnight in cold water allowing them to double in size. Drain and dry them thoroughly before grinding. I spin mine in my salad spinner to remove excess moisture. Do not use canned chickpeas; they will fall apart in your frying pan.
2. Use fresh herbs not dried. Fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley, and mint gives falafel its vibrant green color and lends to its fresh flavor.
3. Season generously. Spices like ground cumin and coriander enhance the falafel’s flavor profile. Adjust the seasoning levels to match your taste. Add in cayenne or red pepper flakes to boost the heat level.
4. Don’t forgo the baking powder. While it might seem an odd ingredient in a fried patty, baking powder is an important ingredient to ensuring your falafel patties are light and fluffy.
4. Maintain the proper oil temperature. This is where a kitchen thermometer comes in handy. Heat your oil to around 350˚ F. Test a small pinch of falafel batter before cooking a large batch.
5. Freeze leftover falafel batter. You’ll have a better outcome if you freeze leftover falafel batter rather than cooking and freezing cooked falafel patties. Freeze pre-formed falafel patties in a single layer on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Once frozen remove them from the sheet tray into your container of choice. Don’t forget to label the container.
Give This Falafel Burger A Try Today
Once your falafel patties are cooked, assemble your burger with all your favorite toppings and condiments. The falafel burger recipe below includes a spicy yogurt sauce.
So go ahead, give the falafel burger a try on your next burger night and discover the delicious world of plant-based proteins.
With its rich history, delightful flavor, and numerous health benefits falafel is a fantastic substitute for the traditional hamburger patty that will leave you craving for more.
- 2 cups dried chick peas (not canned)
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup onion slices
- 2 bunches of cilantro
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tabelspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
Spicy Yogurt Sauce
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- kosher salt to taste
- Soak dried chickpeas overnight.
- Drain chickpeas and run them through a salad spinner to dry thoroughly.
- Place the chickpeas and the remaining falafel ingredients in food processor. Grind until the mixture begins to hold together, stopping every now and then to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Don’t add any water to the mixture as this will make your falafel batter too wet and it will fall apart when cooking.
- From the falafel patties into patties, 3-1/2 inches wide x 1/2-inch thick.
- Heat a large skillet. when the skillet is hot add enough oil to create a layer of oil 1/4-inch deep.
- When the oil is hot (ideal temperature is 350˚ F), add the falafel patties to the skillet. Don’t overcrowd the skillet.
- Fry the patties on each side until browned.
- Remove to a paper towel tot cool.
- Serve immediately on the bun and toppings (tomato, onion, etc.) of your choice with the Spicy Yogurt Sauce.
Spicy Yogurt Sauce
- Place all the spicy yogurt sauce ingredients into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Whisk the ingredients together until combined.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.