I had this can of garbanzo beans (AKA chick peas) in my pantry forever. I don’t even remember where it came from or if I was even the one who got it. It’s just been living in my pantry.

Today the kids were hungry and we are out of thawed peanut butter (we still have about a quarter of a bucket in the freezer). I looked through a bean cookbook for something I could make from this can. Most of the recipes in the book are of Middle East or Mediterranean origin and therefore spicier than we prefer (like curries). However, I found a recipe for falfel that I thought could be modified without ending up too bland. Then I looked at the other ingredients and found that indeed I had almost everything on hand to make it. Several of them call for unusual spices or ingredients we don’t normally use. This one called for a spice called coriander which we don’t have, so  left it out.

Falfel is basically a garbanzo bean mush with garlic, minced onion, chili pepper and cumin (plus the missing coriander) that is fried. It called for an entire onion. Normally that doesn’t sound like a lot but when mixed with only slightly more than a cup of mushed beans, it would have been too much. I put in just 3 thin slices. After mixing everything well, you make small patties and cover them with whole wheat flour then fry them until both sides are brown. We ate them on homemade bread. It made just enough for the 3 of us.

Dried garbanzo beans are cheap. It uses (at least the way I make it) little spices. So the meal was very cheap, probably less than $1 for all of us. The kids wanted seconds so next time I should make more. It is rather filling since it is made with beans. I served it on homemade bread but would probably be good on rice with a little lemon.


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