Are you looking for the best Homemade falafel and cumber dill sauce recipe? This delicious recipe is not only kid-friendly but it can easily be transformed into a gluten-free falafel and vegan tzatziki. Try this recipe out in your falafel wrap or falafel burger.
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Falafels are one of my favorite, guilt-free fried foods. They make great appetizers and are also yummy in the form of a falafel wrap or falafel burger. There are many places in Houston that I recommend for falafels, but the best homemade falafels and Cucumber dill sauce are made at my house. If you’re looking for falafels in Houston places like Zabak’s and Just Falafel are two great places to visit. When I shared this recipe with one of my friends, she balked at the amount of prep work. I admit, there is a lot of chopping that goes into this recipe but it’s worth it. Additionally, if you choose to use fresh garbanzo beans vs. canned it increases your cook time.
After years of trial and error, I’ve determined that my The Best Homemade Falafels are made with fresh garbanzo beans. Canned beans work, but they make the falafel mixture a bit too moist. A moist batter doesn’t fry as well and tends to fall apart in the oil. Although there are a few tricks that prevent this (i.e. adding more breadcrumbs), I prefer not to do that. Regarding the cucumber dill sauce, I prefer a more mild sauce. So you will see that I only use a small amount of dill. Fill free to add more dried dill if you’re looking for a tangier sauce.
If you’re looking to create gluten-free falafels and vegan tzatziki sauce it’s pretty simple. For the gluten-free falafel, you will want to substitute the bread crumbs for gluten-free bread crumbs and replace the egg. For vegan tzatziki, simply find a dairy-free greek yogurt alternative.
WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS FOR THE BEST HOMEMADE FALAFELS?
- 2 cups garbanzo beans, sorted, washed, and soaked
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 egg (flax egg or egg replacer for allergy-friendly)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 dash pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup dry bread crumbs (gluten-free breadcrumbs)
- oil for frying
- 2-4 Fresh, warm, soft tortillas (warm at 350 for 4-5 minutes)
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- chopped avocado
- 1/2 cup chopped green leaf lettuce
Cucumber Dill Sauce Ingredients
- 1/2 of a cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
- (1) 6 oz. the container of plain Greek yogurt (dairy-free option)
- 1 tsp of dried dill weed
- Salt & Pepper to taste
HOW TO MAKE FALAFELS FROM SCRATCH?
STEP ONE: PREPARE YOUR CUCUMBER SAUCE & PREPPING YOUR GARBANZO BEANS
Mix all of the sauce ingredients together and taste. You may want to add more dill, and this is when you should do it. Refrigerate/chill the mixture for 30 minutes or so.
I only eat use fresh garbanzo beans (chickpeas), and there are a couple of important steps I follow to prep them for cooking. If you decide to use fresh beans (of any kind) it’s crucial that you sort and wash rinse your beans. This removes all broken beans and any dirt that may have been left behind. Add the sorted and washed garbanzo beans to a bowl and cover with water. Allow the beans to soak and expand overnight. Once soaked they are ready to be boiled for 20 minutes and set aside.
STEP TWO: “MASH IT UP”
Once your chickpeas have been boiled, pour about 2 cups (16 oz.) into a mini chopper (or mash by hand) and pulse until the beans are fine. You are looking for a “paste” like consistency. Over pulsing (mashing) will leave the beans too thin, forcing you to use more breadcrumbs to thicken it up. Pour bean mixture into a medium-sized container, preferably with a lid for any leftover falafel mix.
STEP THREE: CHOPPING YOUR VEGGIES
Add chopped onion, parsley, and garlic to a mini chopper and pulse for 2 minutes. Add this to the chickpea container and mix together with a spoon.
STEP FOUR: WET INGREDIENTS & SPICES
In a separate bowl, combine egg, cumin, coriander, cayenne, salt, pepper, baking powder & lemon juice. Stir all of these ingredients together and add to the chickpea and vegetable mixture.
After mixing all of the ingredients together, you should have an idea of whether or not you will need more breadcrumbs. I suggest you start by adding 1 cup of plain breadcrumbs. Sometimes, if you have “over-chopped” your beans, the mixture will be wet and a little soupy. DON’T PANIC; a 1/2 cup of additional bread crumbs will save your dish.
Stir in the olive oil and allow your mixture to rest for a few minutes to the mixture while you prep the final steps.
You should be able to form a softball with your spoon along the side of your mixing container. To get the true texture put about 2 tablespoons in your palm and roll it into a ball. If they fall apart, add more breadcrumbs if they hold you’re rocking baby!!
STEP FIVE: IT’S TIME TO FRY
Heat 1 – 1 1/2 inches of oil over medium heat. Fry the falafels for about 2 minutes on each side, checking them to ensure they don’t burn. Once the edges are brown, flip them over and allow 2 more minutes of cooking time.
Once the falafels are done, take them out of the oil and drain them on a paper towel. If you are making a big batch, I would suggest warming your oven and allowing those to hang out in there while you finish. Or eat them as you make more. Your sauce is ready by now, so get to dipping!!
MAKING A FALAFEL WRAP
As I mentioned, falafels are great in the form of a falafel wrap or falafel burger. Making a falafel wrap is simple and lets you be creative with what goes in it!
Warm your tortillas. I prefer the oven because they get a little crispy and I like that crunch. Once the tortillas are warm and puffy, remove them from the oven and place them on separate pieces of foil to keep warm and to keep the stuff inside from falling out. I like to add fresh avocado (lots of it), fresh tomatoes, and green lettuce. This part you can do however you like, but I put the cucumber sauce at the bottom of the tortillas, added my veggies, and top with falafel or two. I finish it off with a dollop of extra sauce on top.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR FALAFEL MOIST?
I’ve found that canned garbanzo beans can make your falafel it bit moist, as well as over-chopping your veggies. A soft falafel may not hold together as well as one that is a bit drier.
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The Best Homemade Falafels
- 2 Cups Garbanzo Beans
- 1 Onion
- 1/2 Cup Fresh parsley
- 2 Garlic CLoves
- 1 Egg
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Coriander
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 1 tsp Cayenne
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Cup Dry Bread Crumbs
Cucumber Dill Sauce
- 1/2 Fresh Cucumber peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 1 6 oz. Container of greek yogurt
- 1 tsp dried dill weed
- Salt & Pepper to taste