- 2 (15-ounce) cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
- 3 to 4 tablespoons, plus 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten with a fork
- Salt and pepper
- 3 quarts vegetable oil, for frying
- 3 good quality pita breads, cut in 1/2
- Sesame Mint Yogurt Sauce, recipe follows
- 1 English cucumber, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 small head iceberg lettuce, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 green pepper, seeded and chopped into bite-sized pieces
In a food processor, combine the garbanzo beans, 3 to 4 tablespoons flour, herbs, garlic, cumin, cayenne, egg, and salt and pepper; pulse together until almost smooth. Transfer mixture to bowl. The mixture should be firm enough to form balls; if not, add additional flour as needed. Shape mixture into balls about 2 inches in diameter. Toss in remaining 1/2 cup flour to coat all over. Set aside until oil is hot enough to fry.
Heat oil over medium-high heat until about 375 degrees F. Test with some extra falafel mix to see if the temperature is right; it should sink and rise to the surface and float. Add falafel balls in batches so as not to crowd them and cook until crisp and golden, about 8 minutes. Carefully remove from oil and drain on paper towels.
Fill pita halves with a few falafel balls, cucumber, lettuce, onions and peppers, and top with yogurt sauce.
Sesame Mint Yogurt Sauce:
- 2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt, preferably Greek-style
- 1 bunch mint leaves, finely chopped
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- Salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients in a bowl until well incorporated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.