On Israel's Independence Day, Israelis frequently host barbecues and celebrate with family and friends. So today is a great day to try some festive Israeli dishes - and falafel is definitely an Israeli favorite. In this recipe, traditional falafel is served on a hamburger bun for a fun twist on a popular Israeli food!
For the patties
1 1/2 cups dried garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas
1/2 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
4 medium garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
For frying and assembling
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 brioche or hamburger buns (see Game Plan note), split
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
6 tablespoons tomato jam (optional, see Game Plan note)
Soak the garbanzo beans in plenty of cold water for 24 hours in the fridge. Drain well. The garbanzos will have expanded to measure about 4 cups.
Add 2 cups of the soaked garbanzos to a food processor and process until smooth and pasty, about 2 minutes. Use a spatula to scrape the paste into a large bowl. Set aside.
Add the remaining soaked garbanzos to the food processor along with the onion, garlic, cilantro, parsley, lemon juice, cumin, chili powder, salt, and baking powder.
Pulse 10 times, then scrape down the bowl. Pulse 10 more times—the mixture should have a medium-coarse texture. Add it to the bowl with the puréed garbanzos and mix to combine. Refrigerate, covered, for 30 minutes to make it easier to form into patties.
Divide the garbanzo mixture into 6 even balls. With your hands, form each ball into a 3/4-inch-thick patty. Set aside.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet or heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Carefully add 3 patties and cook, undisturbed, until the bottom surfaces are browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Flip the patties and cook for 6 minutes more. Remove the patties to a plate and repeat with the remaining vegetable oil and uncooked patties.
Toast the buns, if desired.
Distribute the tomato jam, if using, evenly among the bun bottoms, top with lettuce leaves and the patties, spoon the yogurt on top, and close up. Serve right away.