Green Pea Falafel

In this twist on the classic Middle Eastern street food by chef Chris Douglass, green peas take the place of the traditional chickpea to give this dish more of a seasonal flavor. Although falafel is customarily served with tahini, this recipe calls for minted yogurt which adds a zesty layer to each bite. Make slightly smaller balls to serve them as toothpicked hors d’oeuvres, or wrap them up in pita drizzled with sauce as a main course.


Servings: 6


For the falafel
  • 1/2 cup dried green split peas
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt
  • 1 bottle safflower oil, for frying
For the minted yogurt
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon mint, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Fresh lemon juice


For the falafel
  1. Working in two batches, grind the split peas to a powder in a spice grinder. In a food processor, pulse the thawed peas a few times.
  2. Add the ground split peas, onion, flour, parsley, garlic, coriander, cumin, baking powder, cayenne, lemon juice and one teaspoon of salt and process until thoroughly combined.
  3. Form the mixture into 12 falafel patties using a scant 1/4 cup per patty. To form, pinch the dough and lightly pat it into 1 1/2 inch patties. Refrigerate the falafel until firm.
  4. Heat a few inches of safflower oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. To test the temperature, drop a small piece of falafel batter into the oil. It should sizzle immediately then turn golden brown in less than a minute. If you have a thermometer, the oil should be heated to 350 degrees.
  5. When the oil is ready, pick up a falafel ball with a fork and gently lower it into the oil. Repeat with two more balls. After two minutes, turn the falafel to cook all sides until they are golden brown all around.
  6. Remove the falafel balls from the oil and place on a paper towel to dry. Serve immediately.
For the minted yogurt
  1. In a bowl, combine the yogurt, mint and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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