Food & WineFalafel Patties with Rice and Lemon Tahini Sauce

Falafel Patties with Rice and Lemon Tahini Sauce

Falafel Patties with Rice and Lemon Tahini Sauce

Savour the flavours of this updated Middle-Eastern classic falafel recipe with Tahini sauce. The addition of rice to the traditional ingredients of chick peas, herbs and spices, creates a lighter textured patty. These falafels can be served as single portions – perfect for appetizers for children or as a main meal for those with heartier appetites.

1 cupdried   chickpeas

250 mL

1small   onion, diced


2cloves   garlic, minced


1/4 cupchopped   fresh parsley

60 mL

1 tbsplemon   juice

15 mL

2 tspground   cumin and ground coriander

10 mL

1 1/2   tspeach   salt, baking powder and paprika

7 mL

1/4 tspcayenne   pepper

1 mL

1/3 cupchickpea   (gram) flour or all-purpose flour

75 mL

1 cupcooked   and cooled U.S. brown rice

250 mL

1/2 cup   (approx)vegetable   oil (approx)

125 mL (approx)

5pita   breads


2 or 3tomatoes,   thinly sliced

2 or 3

halfcucumber,   seeded and thinly sliced


1/3 cupfinely   diced red onion (optional)

75 mL

Lemon   Tahini Sauce:
1/2 cuptahini

125 mL

6 tbsplemon   juice

90 mL

6 tbspwater

90 mL

1/4 tspeach   salt, freshly ground pepper and ground cumin

1 mL

In large bowl, pour enough cold water over chickpeas to cover by 2 inches (5 cm); let stand for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Drain well.

In food processor, coarsely chop chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, salt, baking powder, paprika and cayenne, stopping to scrape down sides once or twice. Add flour until blended, about 5 seconds. Add rice, pulsing just until incorporated with some grains remaining. Let stand for 30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.

Lemon Tahini Sauce: In small bowl, whisk tahini with lemon juice until smooth. Whisk in enough water to make pourable sauce.

Pour enough oil in heavy-bottomed skillet to come 1/4 inch (5 mm) up side of pan; heat over medium heat. Shape mixture by heaping tablespoonfuls into balls; flatten to 1/2 –inch (1 cm) thickness. In batches, fry falafel patties, turning once, until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate to drain. Transfer to baking tray and keep warm in 200°F (100°C) oven while cooking remaining patties.

Cut each pita in half; open to form pocket. Stuff each with 3 falafel patties, plus some of the tomatoes and cucumber. Drizzle with lemon tahini sauce; sprinkle with red onion, if using.

Makes: 30 pieces (10 servings)

PER SERVING (1/2 pita serving with falafel, garnish and sauce): 305 calories, 11 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 384 mg sodium, 41 g carbohydrates, 7 g fibre, 10 g protein. % RDI: 11% calcium, 26% iron, 2% vitamin A, 22% vitamin C.

SOURCE: USA Rice Federation,

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