I had half a bag of yellow split peas to finish off, but summer and hearty split pea soup don’t quite jibe. What to do? Make falafel! I find soaking chickpeas to be more challenging–somehow they never soften up enough–so using split peas makes for wicked easy falafel. They are quite decent cold, but best straight out of the pan.

You just have to not burn yourself. Right. Will work on that the next time.

Yellow Split Pea Falafel

Makes about 15

225 g yellow split peas (a little over 1 cup)
1 medium onion
4 cloves garlic
2-3 T brown rice flour
4 t cumin
3 t (1 T) marjoram, dried
1 t thyme, dried
1/2 to 1 t red chili flakes
1 t sumac (or use a few squeezes of lemon juice)
4 t baking powder
Oil, for frying
Optional: fresh herbs, like parsley or cilantro

Soak the split peas overnight. Drain, and rinse.

Peel and trim the onion and garlic. Process in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the split peas, and process until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add the flour, spices/herbs, and baking powder. Pulse until well mixed. You don’t want the mixture to be dry, but it does need to hold together. Add a little extra flour if needed to get it to hold together.

Heat 1/2″ oil in a frying pan until hot (you’ll see wavy lines across the bottom of the pan). Shape patties about 2″ by 1/2″ and fry, flipping when browned. Make sure you keep the oil hot, as the falafel will absorb less oil if they enter a hot pan. Typically, it’s easiest to add them to the pan in batches– I place four in the pan, flip, place four more, remove first four, flip the second batch, add a third batch, etc. I needed to flip them after about 2 minutes, and my stove was set at medium high, which is probably more like medium on most stoves.

You know how to serve falafel, right? No? Well, sandwiches are pretty easy. Pita bread, lettuce, cucumber, tomato, and pickles are pretty typical companions. A tahini-lemon-yogurt sauce is also often added. You can also serve them on a salad, or with rice or cous-cous.

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