Falafel in Lettuce Cups with Garlic Tahini Sauce

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 35 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 18 to 20 pieces
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2 heads Boston lettuce

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1/4 cup diced onion

1/2 cup parsley leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon dried mint

1 tablespoon tahini

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups vegetable oil

Garlic Tahini Sauce, recipe follows

Mint leaves, for garnish

Garlic Tahini Sauce:

3 tablespoons tahini

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves

1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves

Pinch salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
  2. Break the heads of lettuce apart and use the smaller leaves to act as cups for the falafel. Reserve the larger leaves for other use. Cover the lettuce cups with a damp paper towel and refrigerate.
  3. Put the chickpeas, garlic, onion, parsley, salt, cumin, red pepper flakes, mint, tahini and lemon juice into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it forms a rough paste. Add the baking powder and flour and pulse until well combined.
  4. Pour the oil into a skillet and place over medium high-heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully drop the falafel into the hot oil by the heaping tablespoonful, in batches. Fry until golden, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Flip and repeat on the other side. Remove to a paper towel lined dish. Repeat with the remaining falafel. Keep warm in a low oven until ready to serve.

Garlic Tahini Sauce:

  1. Put the tahini, garlic, honey, water, soy sauce and lemon juice into a bowl and whisk until smooth. Stir in the chopped parsley, mint and salt and refrigerate until ready to use. Bring back to room temperature before serving.