Falafel with pickled turnips and tzatziki

I love falafel. It's one of my favorite things to get from street foot carts or Mediterranean restaurants or, really, anywhere. They are crisp and delicious and fried and served with delicious sauces.  I've had my fair share of evenings that ended at a kabob shop with falafel and pickled vegetables in a lavash wrap. (because really, why would you choose pizza when you can have something far more delicious).

I never knew how easy it was to make my own falafel, but it's so wonderful. I don't deep fry often at home because it is a hassle and makes the house smell, but when I do I always start with doughnuts in the morning and the next evening something like falafel or fried chicken to kill the oil. There are very few foods that are worth the hassle of deep frying, but this is one of them.

I found this amazing recipe and made both salads and pita sandwiches with my falafel. I even made he pickled turnips, which really added something special to both the salad and the sandwich. Make this at home soon. Serve this with homemade pita bread and tzatziki sauce and I promise you won't be disappointed.

 Ingredients for falafel
  • 1 1/2 cup dry garbanzo beans, soaked overnight in salted water (you should have about 3 cups of beans the next morning
  • 1 cup minced cilantro with stems
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp coriander 
  • 1/2 white onion, minced
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 1 small chili pepper, minced (or to taste)
Directions for falafel
  1. Pulse garbanzo beans and some kosher salt in a food processor until it is the texture of sand. Add other ingredients and mix until it forms a granular paste that holds together. If necessary, you can add a little flour to make it hold it's shape
  2. Roll into balls and flatten slightly. Set aside for 20 minutes to allow the mix time to firm up (overnight is ok too)
  3. Fry in 350 degree oil until deep brown on all sides and cooked through (about 4 minutes or so. Drain and hold in the oven until ready to serve.
Ingredients for pickled turnips
  • 2 medium sized turnips, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium beet, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp caraway
Directions for pickled turnips
  1. Put turnips, beets and onions in a bowl
  2. In a saucepan, combine all other ingredients and bring to a boil.
  3. Pour over the vegetables and leave overnight to pickle.
Ingredients for Tzatziki

  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 english cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup mixed minced herbs (dill and parsley)
  • Juice of one lemon or to taste
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions for Tzatziki
  1. Mix al ingredients together and let chill fully before using.