For A More Satisfying Vegan Burger, Make Your Own Falafel Patties

hand spreading tahini on falafel patty
hand spreading tahini on falafel patty - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Long-time vegan or not, you've most likely heard of falafel. It's one of the many traditional plant-based foods and it's been enjoyed by meat eaters long before the concept of veganism was invented — with some sources dating the origination of falafel back a thousand years to Egypt. Later brought by Coptic Christians to the Middle East, such history leaves you with much to ponder as you bite into these crispy, warm chickpea patties. Tasting Table recipe developer Miriam Hanh's vegan falafel burger recipe takes your favorite Middle Eastern meal and makes it new.

While most commonly enjoyed within a pita — ideally with a nice, runny tahini or amba, which is another culturally significant Middle Eastern condiment made with pickled mango — homemade falafel patties make a satisfying substitute between your burger buns. Formed into a flat patty rather than a ball and paired with all of the same toppings and condiments you'd find inside a shwarma shop or a sabich stand, you get a vegan burger that's not only protein-rich but delivers all of the flavors and aromas associated with Middle Eastern cuisine. Serve it up with a fresh salad, sweet potato fries, baked potato, or crispy onion rings, and you're sure to be happy.

Read more: 30 Healthy Snack Ideas That Won't Ruin Your Diet

Tips For Better Falafel Burgers

fried falafel patties
fried falafel patties - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

It's common knowledge that in order to get the best texture for your falafel, you should use dried chickpeas. That means you'll be indebted to soaking them overnight (pro tip: A bit of baking soda in the water will help soften them). While the results are worth it, we don't all have that kind of time. Before using canned chickpeas for falafel, consider drying them completely before mixing them. This will ensure that your falafel patties don't fall apart in the process of making or eating them. Another tip is to partially roast them or add in a quick water roux before blending them with the rest of your ingredients.

Traditional falafel is usually made with a mixture of chickpeas, fresh parsley, cilantro, dill, garlic, cumin powder, and baking soda for the necessary fluffiness. While delicious as is, there's always room for experimentation. Many people like to add a bit of spice to their falafel, in which case cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or diced jalapenos will suffice. Another option is to throw in sesame seeds, which give your falafel a nice nutty flavor. From there, you can blend, form the patties by hand, and bake or fry them, the latter of which will result in a crispier exterior. After that, you can top your vegan falafel burgers with anything from spicy harissa and eggplant to tahini, pickles, and tomatoes.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.