Two popular street foods from two different countries combined. That is what these falafel tacos are all about. The falafel most popular in the middle east and the taco (corn tortillas) from Mexico. This is a vegetarian/vegan version of the baja-style fish taco.
When I think fish tacos, I think Rosarito in Baja California, Mexico. A place I often visited as a kid with my parents and my siblings. Every other weekend we’d pack up the car and take a two-hour long road trip to visit my beautiful abuelita (I miss her). I love that place and I have so many wonderful memories. Rosarito was like my second home!
I remember the taco stands on every corner. The grills, the smoke, the flames and the wonderful aromas of FOOD…everywhere. There were fish tacos, carne asada tacos, al pastor (marinated pork) tacos, lengua (beef tongue) tacos. My dad tried but could never get us to eat lengua tacos. Gross…EW! Never!
Rosarito is a beach city in Baja California, not too far from Tijuana. It was very popular with the tourists and people that wanted to take a quick escape on the weekend. And since it was a beach city, the fish tacos were among the most popular, tourists crowded the fish taco stands. The fish tacos were made with freshly caught fish and battered up and fried crisp to perfection. The tortillas were fresh and homemade with a special creamy sauce, salsa, and cabbage. They were the best, and the most authentic, fish tacos ever!
That is what inspired me to make these falafel tacos. I’ve made falafels a few times before. I love the flavor of all the herbs combined. The ground chickpeas fry so nicely and crisp. The best part is they’re so easy to make. Plus, they’re vegetarian/vegan, you don’t need any eggs to keep them together. The only thing that can be tricky is getting them to stay perfectly round. Usually they’re served inside a pita bread with lettuce, tomato, and tahini sauce. But, I’m Mexican, and tortillas are usually what I have! But I’ve had them with pita, flour tortillas, and they taste good always…and perhaps even on their own as a snack!
Seriously these tacos are crunchy, so flavorful and good! Somebody should set up a falafel taco stand if it hasn’t been done already!
|Meal type||Main Dish|
- 1 1/4 cup chickpeas (soaked overnight, rinsed, and drained)
- 1/2 cup onions (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon parsley (dry)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic (granulated or powder)
- 2 teaspoons cumin (ground)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander (ground)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- salsa, shredded lettuce, lemon wedges
Recipe for falafel and tahini sauce are very slightly adapted from the Joy Of Cooking book.
|In the food processor: add drained chickpeas, onions, parsley, cumin, coriander, garlic, baking soda, paprika, salt, and pepper and process until the mixture is coarsely ground.|
|Remove to a bowl and stir in 2-3 tablespoons of flour. Stir well.|
|With wet hands, form round balls, about 4-8 of them. Set aside on a plate and let them rest for about 15 minutes or more.|
|Heat up a skillet with 1/2 inch of oil. You can test the oil by dropping a little bit of the mixture, if it sizzles, it's ready. Add chickpea balls, one or two at a time, smash down to flatten them with a spatula, and fry until golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.|
|Make the tahini sauce by adding the tahini, cold water, lemon juice, and salt to a small bowl. Whisk well! Add some more water if you want.|
|Heat a griddle or (comal) and heat the corn tortillas. Fill each corn tortilla with a falafel pattie, top with lettuce, a drizzle of tahini sauce, salsa, and a squeeze of lemon. Enjoy!|