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Middle Eastern Falafel

In Middle Eastern countries, falafel is made from garbanzo beans and spices, shaped into balls or patties and deep-fried. It is a popular form of street food, often served wrapped in thick pita breads. These falafel patties are made on a griddle, using much less oil. Children can help mash the chickpeas and form the falafel into the patties.  Enjoy these falafel with this yogurt sauce with mint, sesame flatbread, and a fresh tomato cucumber salad.


  • 2 (15-ounce) cans garbanzo beans or chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ⅔ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon unbleached white flour
  • Olive oil for griddle


  1. Put the drained and rinsed garbanzo beans into a bowl. Use a potato masher to completely mash the beans. Stir in the lemon juice.
  2. Add the parsley and green onions to the mashed garbanzo beans, stirring well. Then add the salt, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, and thyme. Add the egg and olive oil and mix until well combined. Stir in the flour. Form the falafel mixture into patties about ½ inch thick and 2 inches in diameter.
  3. Heat a griddle to medium high heat. Spread about 2 teaspoons of olive oil evenly over the surface. Cook the patties for about 3 minutes on each side, until browned and cooked through.

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