Tis the season to eat vegetarian Middle Eastern cuisine.  And what better way to get into the holiday spirit than whipping up some falafel for the whole Fam Damily? Homemade falafel is really delicious and pretty easy to make.  Lots of parsley, spices and lemon juice make these fried balls extra special. Crisp veggies, tehina, and sour pickles  add the perfect balance of freshness to this classic Israeli sandwich, or as they say in the holy land, “sand-veeech.” Put your reindeer sweater on, pour yourself a glass of eggnog and fry up some fa-la-la-la-lafel balls tonight. And don’t forget to put some hummus and pita out for Kfar SabaClaus!

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Based on the goddess of fine living, Martha Stewart’s recipe

15 oz can of chickpeas

2 garlic cloves

1 small onion

1/4 cup parsley

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp coriander

3/4 tsp salt

2 tbsp fresh mint

1 lemon, juiced

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp cayenne

1 egg

1/2 cup vegetable oil (come on it’s the holidays, put your fat pants on!)

Put half the chickpeas in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Place them in a large mixing bowl. Put the rest of the chickpeas in the processor with the garlic, lemon juice, salt, spices, parsley and baking soda and pulse until it becomes a thick paste. Lightly beat your egg and mix everything together in your large mixing bowl. Let the mixture chill for 30 minutes. The chilling is a VERY important step, I neglected to wait the full 30 and ended up with a bit of a falafel hash. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Drop rounded tablespoons of batter into the oil and cook turning once until golden brown. Place balls on a paper towel to drain the excess oil.

Serve with fresh pita bread, simple Israeli salad (diced cucumbers and tomatoes with equal parts olive oil and fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper) sliced Israeli style sour pickles, tehina, and really any other falafel accoutrements you like. Ho-Ho-Ho-Hommus anyone?

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