Introduction: Falafel Dinner, Without Food Processor

Mmm . . . Falafels . . . Mmmm
But alas, I don't have a food processor and every recipe seems to require one, but I do have an immersion blender, so I'll just have to fake it
I have most of the ingredients . . . if we substitute tortillas for the pitas, swap brown rice for bulgur in the tabloleh and mix in some garlic mustard to stretch the parsley . . .
As a starting point I'm using jessyratfink's very fine instructable, "Baked Falafel", what follows, well . . .
So if you are from the middle east and your family has a long history of making this, read no further, but if like me you need something nourishing for body and soul
something yummy
Something your carnivorous spouse will enjoy and not notice the lack of meat protien . . .


Immersion blender, also called hand blender
Piece of plastic, lid from salad greens or spinach ideal
Steak Knife, kitchen shears
Teaspoon, Tablespoon ( for measuring)
Measuring cups (1 cup, 1/8 cup)
Cookie sheet with raised edge, or other baking pan
oven, oven mitts
Assorted bowls
1.5 cups dry chickpeas (aka garbanzos)
From jessyratfink's recipe (
Chopped onion, 1/3 cup
6 tablespoons of chopped parsley and/or cilantro
2-3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons coriander
1 teaspoon chili powder
pinch of cayenne
2 tablespoons of olive oil, for the baking sheet
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg* , no egg in jessy's recipe, but maybe because I started with dried chickpeas, or maybe due to the lack of the food proccessor's grinding, without the egg, my falafels were falling apart
For the tabouleh
1 cup cooked brown rice or 1 cup cooked bulgur ( traditional)
2 cups chopped parsely, I used about 3/4 cup chopped garlic mustard as part of the 2 cups of chopped greens. I'm thinking could do other substitutions here, waterleaf, fresh oregano, later in the summer there will be lambs quarters, nasturtium leaves . . .
2 Tbsp Lemon juice
1.5 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp chopped onion
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in quarters
For the Tzadziki, adapted from, by Makerlan
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2-1 cup chopped cucumber
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
a few cloves garlic chopped fine
1 Tbsp Lemon juice
Ground black pepper
For serving, Pitas, or in my case, soft tortillas

Step 1: We're Using Dried Chick Peas

I read a silly amount of recipes before I chose this one. Something that stood out for me was that using dried chickpeas would give a more crunchy result. This woman needs some serious crunchiness, also I had gotten some dried chickpeas as part of my pre lock down provisioning. Did I say how easy it is?
1.5 cups dried chickpeas
4 cups water
if you're feeling fancy, you can add a bullion cube ( but dissolve in hot water first) or some nice herbs
Basically you just soak the chickpeas for 12-24 hours before you start cooking. In warm weather, I'd recommend you soak them in the fridge. If you forget to start them soaking the day before, you can bring them to a boil for 1 minute, cover and let soak for 8-12 hours. Drain before adding to recipe

Step 2: Early in the Day, Make the Tzadziki and Tabouleh

Sometime between after coffee and midday, you'll want to make these go withs. Letting them rest in the refrigerator will give the flavours a chance to meld
The hardest part of this is chopping the garlic, if I could just find the garlic press . . .
If you don't have, or don't like dill, you can substitute almost any strongly flavoured herb. If you are going to use a dry herb, use 1 Teaspoon
I like to mix everything right in a jar, then refrigerate until the falafels are finished baking,

I like bulgur, just didn't have any
Brown rice, now that we have! I was thinking quinoa would work nicely here, but wait . . . I don't have that either
I made this 2 weeks ago with just parsely and it was fine. But then I remembered all the garlic mustard coming up in my garden
The garlic mustard gave it a nice kick, without alarming my husband that I was slipping weeds into the salad
I just put the parsely ( sans stems) and the garlic mustard leaves in a small bowl and snipped with the kitchen shears until I figured the pieces were small enough. Now scallions or green onions would be nice, but a few Tbsp of plain old onion, chopped, were good too. Stir in the lemon juice and olive oil, cover and refrigerate. I like to add the tomatoes just before serving as I don't like to put them in the fridge

Step 3: Ms MacGyver Doesn't Need a Food Processor

A nice thing about a food processor is how it keeps all the bits inside while it pulverizes them. An immersion blender isn't as refined, but it gets the job done. (I tried the hand mixer, even messier and less effective)
To minimize spatter use a deep bowl, placed in the sink. Cut a hole in the centre of your piece of plastic. The hole needs to be big enough for the stem of the blender, but small enough to limit the chickpeas' escape. Some chickpeas will get out, not a huge amount, less than a few Tbsps. Mostly they just get as far as the sink, they can't really fly.
If you have an immersion blender, you know that they can be dangerous if used improperly, so please be careful!
Put the drained chickpeas in your bowl, use your immersion blender in a pulsing manner to mash them. I had to stop a few times to clear around the blade. A few chickpeas will resist mashing, and that's ok
Once the chickpeas are pretty evenly smushed, add the other ingredients, mix well
Put olive oil in baking pan, put pan in middle rack in oven. Turn oven on to 400F, when oven is finished preheating, the oil ( and pan) will be hot ( I saw this method of hot pan/ hot oil in a few recipes with the promise of a crispier result)
I used a 1/8 cup measuring cup to make my patties ( it made 12, 2.5" across). I like to have all the patties shaped, on a plate, so I can quickly transfer them onto the hot pan and return to the oven
Bake 15 min, remove pan from oven, flip falafels, bake for 10 more minutes

Step 4: Ta Dah!

Serve falafel with tzadziki, tabouleh and warm pita (or tortillas)

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