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Base for Falafel

2 Tbs finely chopped fresh cilantro

Chopped tomato for garnish

Soybean or vegetable oil for frying

2 Tbs finely chopped fresh parsley

4-6 Tbs flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup roughly chopped onion

1 teaspoon cumin

1 cup dried chickpeas

Diced onion for garnish

1 teaspoon salt

Diced green bell pepper for garnish

1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper

Tahini sauce

4 cloves garlic


Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained.

Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.

Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough bulgur or flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.

Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts, or use a falafel scoop, available in Middle Eastern markets.

Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Stuff half a pita with falafel balls, chopped tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and pickled turnips. Drizzle with tahini thinned with water.