I wasn’t one of the lucky kids to go to Jerusalem for study abroad with my university, but a lot of my friends went and came back raving about the street food over there.  Falafel was one of their favorites.  My version is, I’m sure, far from authentic, but authentic would mean hauling out the vat of oil for deep frying, which is on my list of least favorite things to do.I’m a bit funny when it comes to garlic.  If my husband or I eat it, kissing is out for a few days.  So if you want to omit the garlic, by all means, do so.  I included it in the recipe because it does add more depth of flavor, and is more traditional.

Pan-grilled falafel on pita

1 large carrot, roughly chopped
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
1/3 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 clove garlic
1 scallion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 14 ounce cans chick peas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 egg
Pita bread
lettuce
tomatoes

Tzatziki (recipe follows)

1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine carrots, cilantro, parsley, cumin, salt, pepper, and garlic. Pulse until well chopped, but not smooth.
2. Add in 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the chick peas, and egg. Pulse until all beans are coarsely chopped.
3. Form into balls and gently flatten.
4. Heat remaining oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Working in batches to avoid crowding the pan, add remaining oil, and grill chick pea patties until golden brown on both sides.
5. Place in pita pockets with tzatziki, tomatoes, and lettuce. Season with salt and pepper.

Tzatziki

1 8 ounce container of Greek yogurt
1/2 English cucumber, grated on a box grater
1/2 teaspoon finely minced garlic (about 1/2 a clove)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Juice of one Lemon

1. Place yogurt in a sieve, lined with two heavy-duty white paper towels (like Kirkland brand, or Bounty), set over a bowl. Let it drain over night in the fridge, or for at least 4 hours.
2. When the yogurt has fully drained, take the grated cucumber and wrap in two new paper towels. Squeeze out any excess water over the sink.
3. In a small bowl, combine cucumber, yogurt, and all remaining ingredients.  Keep refrigerated.

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