Falafel is one of those incredibly simple dishes that I never make from scratch, because the boxed stuff is perfectly tasty and takes about 40 seconds to make.
Of course, when you’re trying to convince a slightly picky Mr. B that he will, in fact, like lima beans if he just tries them, these are probably the way to go. As a bonus, they’re quite tasty and filling. I like that they’re green on the inside, and just a tad spicy.
I know one generally stuffs falafel into pita bread, but that always seemed a bit heavy to me. These are, however, delightful with braised lamb.
Ingredients (serves 4)
2 cups lima beans
2 t cumin
1 t cayenne
1 T salt
handful of basil (or your preferred herb)
oil, for deep-frying
Cook the lima beans and pour them into the bowl of a food processor.
Pulse them for a few seconds, then add the basil.
Pulse a few seconds more to incorporate. This would be a good time to move everything to a bowl in order to avoid over-processing the lima beans. I didn’t do that. Add the egg, cumin, cayenne, and salt.
Mix all the ingredients until fully incorporated, preferably with a spoon.
Wet your hands to prevent sticking and form the lima bean concoction into 14-16 balls.
Heat the oil in a deep pot over medium-high heat. Fry the falafel in small batches to avoid overcrowding. They need about 3-4 minutes to cook, until they are a deep, warm brown.
Serve with pita and tzatziki or a lovely serving of braised lamb shank.
These are very solid and hearty. Honestly, I ate four of them and about two bites of lamb, and I was completely stuffed.
If I’d realized how easy it was to make these, I probably would have given up on the boxed ones ages ago. As comfort foods go, falafel probably ranks only just below macaroni and cheese, and they’re virtually guilt-free to boot.