Soaked chickpeas are transformed into a crispy flavorful falafel burger patty. Topped off with fresh tomato cucumber salad and an easy to make Lemon Tahini Sauce. Serve it up on mini pita bread on each side or other fresh bread and enjoy for lunch or dinner.
Place the chickpeas in a large pot or bowl and cover with excess water, at least 2-3 inches. Let them soak for at least 24 hours. Check throughout the time period and add water if needed since the chickpeas will absorb the water. Drain well when ready to prepare the falafel.
Make the Lemon Tahini Sauce
Place the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small blender. Pulse or blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings. If you prefer it to have more lemon flavor you can add more juice.
Once the flavor is where you want it, gradually add in about 3-4 tablespoons of warm or hot water until the sauce is still thick but will drizzle. Set the sauce aside until you are ready to serve.
Make the Falafel Patties
Place the chickpeas and all the other ingredients into a food processor and pulse until well mixed and mostly smooth, scraping down the sides several times. Add water, a teaspoon at a time, if the mixture needs some help to come together. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.
Use a ½ cup measure to scoop out and form the falafel into patties for burgers.
Heat up about 1 inch of sunflower oil or another neutral oil in a deep skillet over medium high heat. The oil is ready to start frying when you drop a bit of dough in and it sizzles right away.
Cook the falafel patties in batches until both sides are golden brown, about five minutes per batch.
Make the Chopped Salad
Combine the tomato, cucumber, red onion, parsley or cilantro and lemon juice. Stir to combine.
Top each burger bun with a falafel, tomato salad, lettuce leaf and drizzle of tahini lemon sauce.
Tips for BEST results:Be patient when blending the chickpeas. It will take time to break down the chickpeas into a consistency that will hold its shape as a patty especially if you don’t have a super powerful food processor. My food processor that I currently own isn't that great and it took me between 5-10 minutes to achieve the consistency seen in the photos. You may need to take a few breaks in between to let the food processor rest so it doesn’t overheat.Make sure the oil is hot before adding your vegan falafel patties. The hot oil is what gives the patties their color and also helps cook them quickly so they maintain their shape in the pan. Cold oil means soggy falafel and possibly a more crumbly texture.Use a spatula to place your patty in the pan. The patties are naturally a little crumbly since they don't contain flour or another binding agent. Using this method keeps your hands away from the oil to prevent burning, but also helps to keep the burger shape of the falafel. I place the patty on the spatula and then slide it into the oil.Wait until the patty is fully cooked on the first side so that it stays intact when you are turning it.Use a spatula and fork to flip the vegan falafel burgers over in the pan. Gently slide the spatula underneath and use the fork to push it on more easily. Then I use the fork to gently flip the burger over to prevent any oil from splashing.