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Panfried Falafel (Ground Fenugreek)

Nearly raw chickpeas are the key to the toothsome texture of these falafel patties, which are seasoned with ground fenugreek, a spice that lends a pleasant bitterness and delicate sweetness. Tuck the patties into warmed pita bread rounds along with red leaf lettuce, a spoonful of chopped tomatoes, and a drizzle of plain yogurt or a dollop of tahini.

Ingredients:

  • Salt, to taste, plus 3/4 tsp.
  • 1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tsp. ground fenugreek
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice (optional)

Directions:

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the chickpeas and cook until slightly softened but still very firm in the center, about 10 minutes. Drain the chickpeas and let cool slightly.

In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, onion, garlic and parsley and process until coarsely pureed. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.

Put the fenugreek in a small fry pan over medium-high heat. Shake and toast until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the fenugreek, baking powder, cumin, the 3/4 tsp. salt and the red pepper flakes to the chickpea mixture and stir to combine. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.

Preheat an oven to 200°F.In a large nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the 1 Tbs. olive oil. With wet hands, shape 1/4-cup portions of the chickpea mixture into patties about 3 inches wide. Place 3 or 4 patties in the pan and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, 4 to 6 minutes total. Transfer the falafel to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat to cook the remaining patties, adding more olive oil to the pan as needed.

Drizzle the lemon juice over the falafel and serve immediately. Makes 12 to 14 patties; serves 4.

Adapted from a recipe by Williams-Sonoma.