Falafel Sandwiches with Tzatziki Sauce

I've always thought it sad that falafel sandwiches from restaurants can be hit or miss, sometimes divine, sometimes dry and disastrous. I imagine the latter ones simply aren't freshly made. To find out how hard it is to achieve, I decided to give it a go myself. I studied a few different falafel recipes and came up with this hybrid, which we served in fresh pita bread with lettuce, tomato and tzatziki sauce.

one 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 onion chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-1/4 cups dry bread crumbs
oil for frying

Tzatziki Sauce
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried dill weed, to taste
2 teaspoons lemon juice
pepper and salt, to taste
In a large bowl, mash chickpeas. Stir in onion, parsley and garlic. In a blender whip the flax seed and water until thickened; add to chickpeas along with spices, lemon juice, baking powder, olive oil and 1 cup bread crumbs. Form into patties. Heat oil in frying pan over medium-high heat. Dredge in remaining bread crumbs and fry in oil until browned. Serve immediately.

Sauce: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and adjust seasonings to taste.

What really happened: Although this recipe tasted good, they ended up more like "loose-meat" falafels -- meaning they fell apart when they were fried. I suspect the mixture was too moist (we added some vegetable stock in an effort to make them stickier) and they were fried in too much oil (perhaps 1/4-inch deep). When they hit the hot oil, the moisture ended up boiling, breaking apart the chunky patties. Some recipes indicate the ingredients should be pureed in a blender. Next time, I plan to try this method, along with using more beans and less liquid to make the mixture more like a very dry mashed potato. Perhaps some tahini or other nut butter might make the mixture adhere together better than the flax seed egg replacement. Also, the cucumber sauce had something bitter about it: either the cucumber from the garden was under-0r over-ripe, or the chopped garlic had some bitter quality. All in all, worth trying again, but with some changes.

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