Think falafel is just for takeout? Think again. This easy weeknight recipe will walk you through a few simple steps to create your own crispy falafel at home, served with a side of warm naan bread and drizzled with tahini, of course. A bright, easy-to-make Israeli salad accompanies this comforting coupling of naan and falafel, lending a fresh, crunchy complement to a delightful dinner.
Since most of the sodium in canned goods is in the starchy liquid, be sure to rinse the chickpeas well.
To check if a pan is hot, carefully hover your hand a few inches away from the pan. When it’s hot, you’ll be able to tell.
While cooking in batches, if you run out of oil, add more by the tablespoon, and add the falafel when the oil is just shimmering.
⅛ ounce parsley, divided
3 cloves garlic
1 English cucumber
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 can chickpeas
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon flour
2 pieces of naan
2 tablespoons tahini
4 ounces hummus
3 tablespoons olive oil + more as needed
3 tablespoons water
food processor or potato masher (optional)
12″ large nonstick pan
Rinse all produce. Finely chop parsley leaves, discarding stems. Mince garlic. Peel shallot and mince. Halve cucumber lengthwise, and slice into ½-inch half- moons. Halve tomatoes. Halve lemon. Drain chickpeas and rinse (see Recipe Tip).
In a food processor, mix chickpeas, garlic, shallot, cumin, and half of parsley until chickpeas are broken down and all ingredients are incorporated. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Alternatively, mash the chickpea mixture using the back of a fork or potato masher.
Transfer falafel batter to a bowl and stir in flour until fully combined. Using your hands, form batter into 10 equal disks, about ¼-inch thick, and place on a plate. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place a large nonstick pan over high heat. When pan is hot, add naan and cook until slightly charred, 1-2 minutes per side (see Recipe Tip).
While falafel chills, in a large bowl, combine cucumber, tomato, juice of half lemon, remaining parsley, and 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss to coat. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together tahini and juice of remaining lemon until slightly thickened. Whisking continuously, slowly add 3 tablespoons warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until smooth and pourable. Taste and add salt as needed.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in pan from naan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add falafel and cook until golden brown and crisp outside, 3-4 minutes per side, adding more oil and working in batches if needed (see Recipe Tip).
Serve with Israeli salad, hummus, and naan. Drizzle tahini over everything. Scoop, drizzle, bite, repeat.