Falafel is best freshly made - and it's simple; if you can make a batch of hummus, you can make your own crispy falafel by blitzing together a can of drained chickpeas with garlic, cilantro and some Greek tzatziki mix or dressing - which can also be used as a dip or to dribble in a pita. But because I had a ripe avocado in need of using, it occurred to me that it would do well morphed into a sort of tzatziki guacamole as well. And it was!
Not only does homemade falafel made a great meal, you could serve it as a party nibble - with the guacamole alongside for dipping.
Homemade Falafel with Tzatziki Guacamole
1 19 oz (540 mL) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped purple onion
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp. Hidden Valley Greek Tzatziki Dip Mix or dressing (optional)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
canola oil, for frying
1 ripe avocado
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 cup Hidden Valley Greek Tzatziki Dressing
Combine the chickpeas, onion, garlic, cilantro, dip mix or dressing and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until blended but still chunky. Add the flour and baking powder and pulse until you have a soft mixture that you can roll into balls without sticking to your hands.
Roll the dough into meatball-sized balls, and if you like, flatten each into a little patty. I like doing this for maximum surface area, which equals more crunch.
In a shallow pot or skillet, heat about half an inch of canola oil until it’s hot but not smoking. Test it with a bit of falafel mixture or a scrap of bread – the oil should bubble up around it. Cook the falafel for a few minutes per side, without crowding the pan (which will cool down the oil), until they are golden. Transfer to paper towels.
Meanwhile, blend or mash together the avocado, garlic and tzatziki dressing. Serve the falafel warm, with tzatziki guacamole for dipping, or wrap up in a pita with chopped tomato, cucumber and purple onion.
Makes about a dozen falafel.
* Hidden Valley provided products for me to try and review, but all creations/opinions are (as always) my own. It’s always nice to get something new to try!