Falafel (Chickpea Patties)

Falafel is sold on street corners in every city and town in Israel. Some call it the "Israeli hamburger." Its popularity can be attributed in no small part to the Yemenite Jews who have brought a particularly tasty version onto the culinary scene. Students living on a meager budget consume full-portion falafels in whole pitas on the sidewalks as their noon "dinner."

16 ounces canned chickpeas, drained
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 cup breadcrumbs or fine bulgur
1 teaspoon ground coriander or cumin
1 teaspoon dried hot peppers
1 teaspoon garlic powder
vegetable oil (for frying)
  1. Combine chickpeas with onion. Add parsley, lightly beaten egg and spices.
  2. Mix in blender. Add breadcrumbs until mixture forms a small ball without sticking to your hands.
  3. Form chickpea mixture into small balls about the size of a quarter (one inch in diameter).
  4. Flatten patties slightly and fry until golden brown on both sides.
  5. Drain falafel balls on paper towels.
  6. Serve individually with toothpicks as an hors d'oeuvre or as a sandwich filling with chopped tomato, cucumber, radish, lettuce, onion, hummus and/or tehina inside pita bread.