COLUMN Falafel has a world of variety



1/2 pound dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

2 tbsp. chopped cilantro

Juice of 1/2 medium lemon

Place chickpeas in a large bowl and cover, by four inches, with cold water. Let soak overnight.

Drain and rinse chickpeas and place in a food processor along with remaining ingredients. Pulse until mixture forms a rough paste. Let mixture stand at room temperature for 15 minutes to allow flavors to blend. (If mixture is too thick, add a few teaspoons of water.)

Heat oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees or place 2 inches of oil in a frying pan. Form falafel mixture into balls and place balls in hot oil for 3-4 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Remove falafel with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain.

Falafel can be served in a pita pocket with hummus, tahina, and fresh cabbage or lettuce salad, or as an appetizer for dipping in hummus or tahina.