One of our favorite restaurants in London is Barakat, where they make Greek/Lebanese food. One plate is enough for two people to share, most of the time, since everything comes with an endless basket of warm pita. We love their falafel and after our last visit there we decided to try making it ourselves.

I was a little concerned about frying falafel since I knew it would make them so much worse for us, so we searched until we found a recipe for baked falafel instead.

We made sandwiches out of halved pita, falafel patties, lettuce, and tomato.

This is probably one of the best meals we've made in a long time. There's such a variety of tastes, especially since we made a Greek salad to go with it. Falafel are also pretty easy to make. We gave up on our blender and used a pastry blender to mix them by hand instead, but chickpeas are so soft that it was pretty easily done. Also, a can of chickpeas only costs $0.75 here so the most expensive part of the meal is the herbs (and once my Jungle of Herbs comes into being, that issue will be eliminated).
The tzatziki recipe that we used made me wish that we'd looked for a veganized version, since that was the only non-vegan thing in it, and I kind of like the idea of eliminating dairy from my largest, final meal of the day. There have to be a lot of falafel-loving vegans, so I'm confident that a good vegan version of this recipe exists. Even if I don't find one, we will definitely make this again.

Baked Falafel and Tzatziki Sauce
from Eat Real.

  • 2 cloves garlic, quartered

  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or mint

  • 2 cups chickpeas

  • 1/2 cup plain coarse bread crumbs

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as red or green Tabasco)

  • Coarsely ground black pepper to taste

  • Olive oil for brushing
  1. Place garlic, cilantro, parsley or mint, chickpeas, and bread crumbs in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to chop and blend ingredients (this is where we had to use our pastry blender).

  2. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon lemon juice over chickpea mixture and pulse a few more times. Sprinkle baking powder, cumin, salt, Tabasco, and black pepper over mixture and pulse until the chickpea mixture reaches a workable paste-like consistency. Add an additional tablespoon of lemon juice if it seems very dry.

  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. While the oven is getting hot, line a baking pan with foil and brush with olive oil. Using a large tablespoon or ice cream scoop, scoop balls of dough into your palms and form them into patties. Set aside on work surface while you form the remaining mixture.

  4. Arrange falafel patties on oiled baking sheet and brush them with olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and crispy. Turn once midway through baking.

  5. Remove from oven and let falafel cool on pan for a minute or two before removing to plates or pitas with a spatula.

  6. Serve in a whole-grain pita with leaf lettuce and of tzatziki sauce.

Tzatziki Sauce

  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup low fat sour cream

  • 1 large clove garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 1 kirby cucumber, peeled and finely diced (we used a third of an English cucumber, since they are similar).

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl; stir to incorporate. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes prior to serving. Taste after chilling and adjust seasonings if necessary. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

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