2 medium shallots, minced (or sub 3/4 cups white onion)
2 tbsp raw sesame seeds (or sub for finely chopped nut, such as pecans)
1 1/2 tsp cumin or to taste
1/4 tsp sea salt and black pepper or to taste
1 pinch of cardamom and coriander
3 to 4 tbsp of all-purpose flour ( sub for oat flour or gluten-free flour with varied results)
3 to 4 tbsp avocado oil or your preferred neutral oil
4 Pita breads
1/3 cup of hummus
1 to 2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp of dill, dried or freshly minced
HUMMUS DILL SAUCE PREPARATION
Prepare your sauce by adding hummus, lemon juice, dill to a small mixing bowl, starting with 1 Tbsp (15 ml // or the lesser end of the range if altering batch size) lemon juice. Whisk to combine. Then add only enough water to thin so it’s pourable but still thickened.
Taste and adjust flavor as needed. Add lemon juice for acidity, and dill for a more intense herb flavor. Depending on the hummus you use, you may want to add a pinch of salt.
Add chickpeas, parsley, shallot, garlic, sesame seeds, salt, pepper (and coriander and cardamom if using) to a food processor or blender and mix/pulse to combine, scraping down sides as needed until thoroughly combined. You’re looking for a crumbly dough, not a paste.
Add flour 1 Tbsp (~8 g) at a time and pulse/mix to combine until no longer wet and you can mold the dough into a ball without it sticking to your hands - I used 4 Tbsp.
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt and pepper to your preference.
Transfer to a mixing bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to firm up. If you’re in a hurry you can chill in the freezer for 45 minutes or skip this step - but they will be a little more fragile when cooking.
Once chilled, scoop out rounded Tablespoon amounts (30 g in weight) and gently form into 11-12 small rounded discs.
OPTIONAL: Sprinkle on panko bread crumbs and gently press to adhere onto your falafel discs- flip and repeat. This will produce a crispier falafel, but it's optional.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add enough oil to generously coat the pan - about 2 Tbsp (30 ml). Swirl to coat.
NOTE: If not cooking all of the falafel right away, FREEZE uncooked falafel between layers of parchment paper and store in a container in the freezer for up to 1 month. Then just thaw and cook as instructed!
Once the oil is hot, add only as many falafels as will fit very comfortably in the pan at a time - about 5-7.
Cook for a total of 4-5 minutes, flipping when the underside is deep golden brown. Repeat until all falafel are browned - the deeper golden brown they are, the crispier they'll be. They will also firm up more once slightly cooled.
OPTIONAL: For even crispier falafel, bake in a 400 degree F (204 C) oven for 5-10 minutes after pan frying (either on a baking sheet or your skillet if it's oven-safe)!
Serve warm with the garlic-dill sauce inside a pita with desired toppings or atop a bed of greens – I used heirloom tomatoes and lettuce.
After-School All-Stars provides free, comprehensive after-school programs that keep students safe and help them succeed in school and life. Students served are 91% youth of color and 82% qualify for the Federal Free or Reduced Lunch Program. Find out more: afterschoolallstars.org
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