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Falafel Burgers
By Bharti Kirchner

I enjoy falafel, but have in the past often avoided it because it is deep-fried. Here is a burger prepared in the manner of falafel, but cooked by grilling or broiling rather than deep-frying. Makes 7 to 8 patties, 3 to 4 servings

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, or other green chile, cored, seeded and minced
1 1/2 cups cooked chick-peas
1 cup cooked white basmati rice
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 3/4 cups bread crumbs
salt and freshly ground black pepper
ground pasilla or red (or cayenne) pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet until sizzling. Cook the onion and garlic until the onion is wilted and the garlic is golden. Add the jalapeno and stir several times. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Place the onion mixture, drained chick-peas and rice in the container of a food processor. Pulse on and off several times until the mixture becomes a smooth puree. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the lime juice and 1 cup of the bread crumbs. Season to taste. Mix with a large spoon or with your hands, until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Shape into 3-inch patties 1/2 inch thick, adding extra bread crumbs if the patties don't hold their shape. They will be slightly sticky.

Prepare a grill or preheat the broiler. Grill or broil 3 to 5 inches from the heat, 4 to 7 minutes per side or until lightly browned.

Serving suggestions: Tuck these falafels into warmed pita pockets along with shredded lettuce, tomato slices, onion slices, alfalfa sprouts, and a dollop of cucumber-basil raita and/or tahini mustard. Garnish with lemon wedges. A glass of minted ice tea is just right with this meal.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Vegetarian Burgers by Bharti Kirchner (HarperPerennial, 1996)

 

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