Tommy Tsatsaroni's Falafel
2 C dried chickpeas
6 C water
10 garlic cloves, chopped
1 C stemmed parsely
1C stemmed cilantro (coriander leaves)
1/2 C olive oil
1/4 C white vinegar
1 T salt
1/2 t ground black pepper
Enough corn oil to deep-fry the falafel in a heavy pan or fryer.
...as sold at his pushcart on the southwest corner of Sixth Avenue and 55th
Street in New York City. His cart is the one closest to the intersection.
Please note: We at WATC have translated Tommy's recipe, which he makes in
giant batches for hundreds of people, into a recipe that feeds four. We've
tried to duplicate his textures and tastes, with his guidance -- but blame
us for any flaws. Incidentally, Tommy urges you to flex your culinary wings
and add more or less spices, as you like. For instance, some people add some
ground cumin and coriander to the chickpea mix ...
For the chickpea patties:
For the pita pockets:
Four pita, sliced open and warmed in tin foil in the oven
For the tahini sauce, stir together:
1 C tahini (sesame paste, available at most supermarkets)
1 T white vinegar
1 T ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
If it's too thick, dilute it with cold water and more vinegar
For the trimmings:
Chopped lettuce and tomatoes
Fried or grilled sliced eggplant
Fried or grilled sliced onions
Your favorite hot sauce
Here's what to do:
Soak chickpeas in water for 24 hours. Drain and discard the water. Combine
all other ingredients for the chickpea patties in a food processor, and
blend until the mixture forms a coarse, moist paste. You want lots of tiny
pieces of chickpea, not a smooth mush. At this stage, the paste should be
wet enough that you can squeeze the paste into a form that holds its shape
(say, a disc roughly 2" in diameter and 1/2" thick, or a ball if you
prefer), but it should be dry enough that only a little paste sticks to
your fingers. It might be a good idea to have some extra chickpeas in
reserve, in case you need to add more bulk.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (which will help the paste holds its
shape when you're ready to form the falafels).
Heat corn oil in the fryer to 375 degrees. Start forming the falafels and
dropping them into the oil, one by one, as quickly as possible. Fry only as
many at a time as your pan can handle without lowering the oil temperature.
Otherwise, the falafels will be greasy instead of crisp.
When the falafels are golden brown, they're done. Drain them on a paper
Stuff each pita with a layer of falafels, pile on some trimmings, add
another layer of falafels, pile on some more trimmings, and then finish it
all off with tahini sauce and hot sauce, if you like.
And feel free to drool.