Is it falafel? No. Is it ta'miyyah? No. What is it? It's a chickpea burger. A burger very much like falafel, except tastier, healthier, and more flavorful. A burger that will have you writing off every other falafel you've ever had, even those from the best Middle-Eastern restaurants.
My mother doesn't personally make falafel. Most Algerians, if not all of them, don't. So when I asked her if I could make them, she insisted that I wasn't going to know how to fry them and that nobody in the house was going to want to eat them anyway. I gritted my teeth and reluctantly accepted. Then came along this recipe. A recipe that lo and behold, didn't involve any frying, and would in turn, give me the green light. (Kind of reminds me how God doesn't take something away from you without giving you something better.)
I didn't even think it was possible for falafel to taste good if they weren't fried. But I was so wrong. These burgers are the epitome of delicious--slightly crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, colored with fresh parsley, and infused with authentic Middle-Eastern flavors that will make your taste buds sing AND dance.
And to top it off, you have this phenomenal homemade tahini sauce that adds the perfect amount of tang and creaminess to your sandwich. Seriously, just altogether a wonderful balance of flavors and textures. My mom loved them so much, she asked me to make some for her to take to brunch at her friend's house the following day.
Perfect for vegans, perfect for health freaks, perfect as a snack, perfect as a main meal, perfect for me, and will be perfect for you. Try them. I promise it will be one of the best decisions you will ever make.
Chickpea Burgers with Tahini Saucetaken from Fat Free Vegan KitchenIngredients:For the burgersOne 15-ounce can chickpeas (or 1 1/2 cups cooked), drained and rinsed
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons tahini
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup plain bread crumbs (I used about 3/4 cup)
4 buns or pita pockets (I used pita pockets because I made my burgers small)
For the tahini sauce
One 6-ounce container plain nondairy yogurt
1 to 2 tablespoon tahini
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
1 to 2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1/8 teaspoon of each)
Directions:For the burgersPreheat the oven to 400 degrees.Pulse the chickpeas in a food processor until thick and pasty. (You can add more water if they are too dry) Transfer to a medium-size bowl.To the bowl, add the onion, garlic, parsley, tahini, cumin, coriander, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and baking powder. Slowly add the bread crumbs until the mixture holds together. Add more bread crumbs, as needed. Shape into patties.
Place on a nonstick cookie sheet(or foil-lined baked sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray) and bake for 10–12 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom. Using a spatula, flip each patty over, and cook for 10–12 minutes more until the other side is golden brown.Remove from the oven. Alternatively, you may fry the patties with a little oil in a pan on the stovetop.
While the burgers are cooking, make the tahini sauce.
For the tahini sauce
In a small bowl combine the yogurt, tahini, cucumber, lemon juice, parsley, salt, and pepper to taste. Chill for at least 30 minutes, and serve with the chickpea burgers, along with your choice of condiments on a bun or in a pita pocket.