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.
- 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
- 1 bottle safflower oil, for frying
- 1/2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon mint, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Fresh lemon juice
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove the falafel balls from the oil and place on a paper towel to dry. Serve immediately.
- In a bowl, combine the yogurt, mint and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.