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Falafel Balls

1/2 cup bulgur wheat
2 cups coarsely crumbled stale whole-wheat bread
16 oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
juice of 1 large lemon
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped scallions
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

4 rounds pita bread,warmed and halved
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 cucumber, julienned
1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 scallions, shredded
1 cup loosely packed finely shredded lettuce
1/2 cup tahini or yoghurt sauce

In a bowl, cover the bulgur with cold water and allow to soak for
30 minutes. while the bulgur is soaking, put the bread in another
bowl, cover with cold water and soak for 15 minutes. Drain the
bread in a colander, squeezing out the excess moisture. Drain the
bulgur well through a fine sieve. In the bowl of a food processor
fitted with the metal chopping blade, combine the garbanzos, lemon
juice, garlic, cilantro, pepper flakes, cumin, black pepper and
scallions. Process with an off-on motion until the mixture is finely
chopped. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Stir in the bulgur and
bread and mix well. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of the mixture and
shape into a ball or patty. Set the patties aside on a plate.

Heat 1 inch of oil in a heavy 12 inch skillet over medium high heat
until very hot but not smoking. Add the patties to the pan without
crowding and fry for 2-3 minutes, turning once, until golden brown
all over. As the patties brown, transfer to paper towels to drain
and keep warm while frying the remainder. To serve, tuck 3-4 balls
or patties in each pita half. Add several slices of tomato, cucumber,
and bell pepper, and a sprinkling of scallions and lettuce. Drizzle
with the tahini and serve immediately.


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