Caribbean Falafels

IngredientsBeans, Vegetables, Fruits
Day PartDinner
Menu PartAppetizer/Small Plate
Cuisine TypeLatin
Caribbean Falafels

Source: Chef Claudia Krevat, Claudia’s Mesa (Bozeman, Mont.)

Vegetarians and meat-lovers alike will appreciate this hearty interpretation of a Middle Eastern signature for a snack or appetizer. Chef Krevat gives tradition a twist: the falafels are made with black chickpeas instead of the standard tan garbanzo beans, and a ripe plantain is incorporated into the batter for a layer of sweetness. 


Tahini Sauce

1 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup tahini
2 tbsp. orange juice
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves


2 cups black kabuli chickpeas, soaked overnight
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup mashed very ripe plantain or cooked sweet potato
Safflower oil for frying
Lemon wedges


  1. Combine all tahini sauce ingredients in food processor; pulse until smooth. Add more oil, if necessary, for smoother texture. Set aside at room temperature.
  2. Drain water from chickpeas. Place chickpeas in food processor and grind for 1 min. Add remaining ingredients except safflower oil and lemon wedges; process until blended. Stop motor, remove lid and clean edges. Close and process again until smooth and well combined.
  3. Transfer mixture to bowl and freeze for 30 min.
  4. Shape chickpea mixture into 1-in. balls. Heat 2 in. safflower oil in deep fryer or deep saucepan until oil glistens.
  5. Drop falafel balls into hot oil with slotted spoon; cook 5 min., turning occasionally. Transfer to sheet pan lined with paper towels to drain.
  6. Serve falafels hot, with tahini sauce and lemon wedges.

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