Falafel With Chunky Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

It's time to pay homage to the humble chickpea "meatball."

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Falafel is a delightful vegetarian protein that you can enjoy with or without a pita. If you go the traditional route, stack up your pita with fresh greens, Chunky Cucumber Yogurt Sauce, and falafel. Alternatively, falafel balls sit pretty atop a Greek salad. For a full-on Mediterranean experience, serve hummus as a starter.

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  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas or 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • up to ¼ cup chickpea flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 medium-sized pitas
  • 4 cups loose-leaf greens

Chunky cucumber yogurt sauce

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • ½ cup cucumber, chopped
  • 4 pickled pepperoncini, chopped small
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon minced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • juice from half a lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


To Make the Cucumber Yogurt

Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and fold together. Chill until ready to serve.

To Make the Falafel

Pulse the chickpeas in a food processor until you have a thick, crumbly paste. Add 2 tablespoons of chickpea flour to the chickpea paste along with the egg, parsley, garlic, and spices. Pulse to combine. If the mixture is not holding together, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Shape the chickpea mixture into 12 falafel, each about the size of a golf ball. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Place half of the falafel in the pan. Gently sauté, turning with tongs to get an even golden brown color and crisp exterior, about 6–8 minutes per batch. While you are finishing up the falafel, warm the pitas in a dry pan over medium heat to make them more pliable. Pile each pita with greens, cucumber yogurt, and 3 falafel and serve.

Excerpted from Feed Zone Table: Family-Style Meals to Nourish Family and Sport by Biju Thomas and Allen Lim. Want more delicious recipes? Join Active Pass today!  As part of your membership perks, you can choose 2 books from Velo Press, including Feed Zone Table. You also gain access to more than 7,500 healthy recipes and 100+ meal plans from Clean Eating & Vegetarian Times.