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Falafel with Tabbouleh
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Recipe courtesy of Cliff Crooks and Anne Burrell

Falafel with Tabbouleh and Tahini Sauce

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 50 min (includes resting and cooling times)
  • Active: 50 min
  • Yield: 4 servings (12 falafel)
This recipe plays up Middle Eastern flavors and includes lots of fresh green herbs in the tabbouleh and falafel. Adding pomegranate molasses to the tahini lightens up the fat content and the yogurt also gives the sesame paste the lighter acidic kick it needs, helping the lemon juice.




Tahini Sauce:

To Serve:


  1. For the falafel: To the bowl of a food processor, add the chickpeas, cilantro, parsley, chickpea flour, ground cumin, salt, baking soda, onions and garlic. Pulse until the mixture is a coarse paste. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and then pulse again to make sure the ingredients are fully combined. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside to rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the sesame seeds, baking powder and cayenne. Mix to combine.
  2. Scoop the mixture using a 3-ounce cookie scoop and place onto a sheet tray. Roll each falafel into a ball and then lightly squish into patties. Dust each patty with chickpea flour.
  3. Fill a large high-sided pan with 1 inch of canola oil and add the olive oil. Turn on the heat to low and gently heat the oil until it shimmers. Test the oil with a pinch of flour; if it sizzles, the oil is ready. Working in batches, fry the falafel, turning occasionally, until golden brown and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, season immediately with kosher salt, then transfer to a sheet tray lined with a rack. Repeat with remaining falafel patties.
  4. For the tabbouleh: Add the bulgur and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil into a large, heat-resistant bowl. Mix with a spoon to coat the bulgur with the oil. Cover the bulgur with the boiling water, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to steam for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain the soaked bulgur through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the water. Spread the bulgur onto a quarter sheet tray to cool.
  5. Add the garlic paste, lemon zest, lemon juice and remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil into a large bowl and whisk to combine. Put the cooled bulgur, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, scallions, parsley and mint into another large bowl. Fold the dressing into the bulgur mixture and season with kosher salt to taste.
  6. For the tahini sauce: Add the tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses and kosher salt to taste into a bowl. Whisk to combine. If the mixture is too thick, you can thin it out with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.
  7. To serve, plate the romaine lettuce and top with the falafel. Serve alongside the toasted pita bread, tabbouleh and top with a drizzle of tahini sauce.