Falafel Burgers

Falafel Burger (shown with Tzatziki Sauce)
Falafel Burger (shown with Tzatziki Sauce)

So we’re heading into picnic and cookout weather, and we have some holidays coming up that might result in you getting invited to some cookouts.  Mary Kate and I thought it’d be a good idea to have some burgers that are safe for those of us allergies that we can prep ahead of time and bring with us to throw on a grill.  Now you may be saying, Denise and Mary Kate, why wouldn’t ground beef be safe?  Well, it is–unless someone decides to season it with ranch dressing.  And unless you’ve seen the package for the hot dogs, they might have milk in them.  And I know people who soak their chicken in buttermilk before grilling or frying it. It’s a lot easier to bring your own food and be sure you can eat something, than to sit at a cookout all afternoon looking at food you can’t eat. So with that in mind, we’ve come up with some great recipes that you’re going to be seeing pop up here and there over the next few months. Because it’s going to be summer, and we need to cook stuff outside with fire!

Falafel Burgers

  • l lb bag of garbanzo beans/chick peas (soaked overnight, see below)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (depending on your spice tolerance)
  • 2 Tablespoons of garbanzo bean/chick pea flour
  • A food processor (you really can’t do this in a blender)

Place the garbanzo beans in a large bowl and cover them by 3-4 inches of water.  Let them soak overnight.  They should double in size.

Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans thoroughly.  Unless your food processor is a heck of a lot bigger than mine, you’re going to have to do the following in batches.  Place the garbanzo beans, onion, garlic, parsley, salt, coriander, black pepper, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, and flour in the food processor and process until a rough coarse meal forms, so that it’s somewhere between a paste and the size of millet or quinoa.  To do this, I had to process garbanzo beans in three batches, leaving them a bit rough, dumping the processed garbanzo beans into an appropriately sized holding bowl.  Then I put about half a cup of the processed garbanzo beans back in the food processor along with the onion, garlic, parsley, salt, coriander, black pepper, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, and flour, and processed it. Then I dumped the completed mix back into the bowl and stirred it with the plain garbanzo beans and then ran the whole  mixture back from the food processor to ensure that the spice mixture was evenly mixed with all the garbanzo beans.

Garbanzo bean mixture after processing
Garbanzo bean mixture after processing

You can make the garbanzo bean mixture the day before you intend to serve the burgers to make the day of cooking easier.  If you do, cover the mixture with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator until you need it.

If you’re cooking these on a grill (yes, it is possible), make your burgers slightly smaller, more like sliders because they’ll hold together easier.  Spray down your grill with grilling spray, checking to make sure it’s safe for your allergies. Depending on the heat of your grill, cook each side 2-3 minutes at least each side.  Only turn them once otherwise you make make a mess.  To get them golden brown, we cooked them on a hotter grill that we thought appropriate at first.

Grilled Falafel Burgers
Grilled Falafel Burgers

If you don’t have a grill, you can cook them in a skillet with some vegetable oil.  Fill a skillet with about a inch of vegetable oil and heat the oil at medium heat.  Cook them for 2-3 minutes per side until they are golden brown.  Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain them on paper towels.

Serve your falafel in a wrap with Tzatziki Sauce, some lettuce, and other veggies or put it on a burger bun with the Tzatziki Sauce.


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