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Crispy Pan Seared Falafel


Traditional falafel is deep-fried, but this pan-seared version is much lower in fat.

  • Servings: 6

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 1997


  • 2 1/2 cups cooked (14 ounces) chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion, 4 ounces
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup peeled and grated zucchini
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup medium-chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as parsley, mint, and cilantro
  • 6 whole-wheat pitas
  • 4 1/2 ounces romaine or Bibb lettuce (about 12 leaves)
  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 small onion, peeled and sliced into 1/8-inch rounds
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
  • Olive-oil cooking spray
  • Healthy Tzatziki


  1. Combine half the chickpeas, the onion, lemon juice, 4 teaspoons water, zucchini, cayenne, cumin, coriander, baking soda, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Process until smooth. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add remaining chickpeas to processor, and pulse just until lumpy (should still have some texture), six to eight pulses. Stir into chickpea mixture. Stir in the herbs.

  2. Use your hands to pat the mixture into twelve 2-inch patties, each weighing about 1 1/2 ounces. Place each on a waxed-paper-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap, and transfer to refrigerator for 30 minutes.

  3. Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Place skillet over medium heat, and cook 3 to 4 patties at a time, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Transfer cooked patties to a heatproof plate to keep warm in a 200-degree oven, if necessary.

  4. To serve, toast pitas, and split them open. Arrange lettuce, tomato, and red-onion slices on each. Place two of the cooked patties on each pita. Sprinkle each with mint leaves. Serve with tzatziki.

Cook's Notes

Use canned chickpeas to save time; rinse well under cool water, and drain.

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