Taim Falafel Two Ways, With Roasted Red Pepper Tahini 10.000

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post

Dec 21, 2016

Chef Einat Admony answers to the title Falafel Queen for good reason: Her recipes, flavor combinations and technique are terrific. Here, half of her basic falafel mixture turns green with fresh parsley and cilantro, while the addition of harissa creates fiery flavor in the other half.

A falafel shaper is invaluable for creating small, same-size pieces quickly. The tool is available online via Amazon.com. An instant-read thermometer is handy for monitoring the oil.

Make Ahead: The dried chickpeas need to be soaked overnight. The falafel mixture can be shaped and refrigerated for a few days or frozen individually, then gathered in a zip-top freezer bag for up to 1 month. The tahini sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week; you may need to perk it up with more lemon juice and/or salt once it has been chilled for a few days.

10 - 12

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 10-12 servings; makes 30 to 40 pieces

  • For the tahini
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 or 2 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup ice-cold water
  • 2 large roasted red bell peppers (home-cooked or store-bought; see NOTE)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 cup tahini (well stirred)
  • For the falafel
  • 2 cups dried chickpeas
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seed, lightly crushed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons harissa (preferably a paste kind; see related recipe)
  • 1 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup packed parsley (no long stems)

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For the tahini: Combine the garlic, lemon juice and water in a food processor or high-powered blender; puree until the garlic is completely broken down and the mixture is frothy. Add the roasted red peppers, salt, sugar and paprika; puree until smooth; then, with the motor running, gradually add the tahini to form a thickened, creamy sauce. The yield is about 2 cups.

For the falafel: Place the chickpeas in a mixing bowl and cover with cool water by a few inches. Let them sit overnight. Drain the chickpeas into a colander, discarding the soaking liquid.

Heat 2 inches of oil in a large saute pan to 375 degrees over medium to medium-high heat. Line a baking sheet with paper towels, then seat a wire cooling rack on top.

Combine the onion and garlic in a food processor; pulse until finely ground. Add the crushed coriander seed and drained chickpeas; pulse just until the chickpeas are broken into smaller chunks. Stop to scrape and move the mixture around with a spatula.

Add salt, cumin and pepper; puree until the mixture is finely chopped but not pureed, scraping down the sides of the container as needed. You’re looking for the mixture to resemble coarse meal, not hummus! If the mixture is a little too wet, simply drain off any excess liquid after you pulse it in the food processor.

Transfer half of the falafel mixture to a separate mixing bowl; add the harissa (to taste), working it in until it evenly colors the mixture.

Add the cilantro and parsley to the remaining falafel mixture in the food processor; pulse until the herbs are finely chopped and well distributed.

Use both mixtures to hand-roll a total of 30 to 40 balls that are about 1 1/2 inches wide, or use the falafel tool to shape the mixture into balls.

(At this point, the balls can be refrigerated in an airtight container for a few days or frozen for up to 1 month.)

Carefully add 6 to 8 falafel balls at a time (this can be a mixture of the green and red falafel balls) to the hot oil; cook for about 1 1/2 minutes or until they are golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to the rack to drain. Repeat to cook all the falafel balls, making sure the oil returns to the right temperature before adding the next batch.

Serve warm or at room temperature, with the sauce for dipping.

NOTE: To roast the red bell peppers, position an oven rack 6 inches from the broiler element; preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the peppers on the baking sheet; broil until charred black on all sides, turning them with tongs as needed. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam. Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, rub off and discard the charred skins; also discard the stem and seeds. Cut the remaining flesh into chunks.

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Recipe Source

From Einat Admony, chef-restaurateur of Balaboosta, Taim and Bar Bolonat in New York.

Tested by Einat Admony and Bonnie S. Benwick.

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