Sumac Aleppo Pepper Falafel Varenyky

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Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Serves: 4-6 people

INGREDIENTS

For the Dough

  • 1 egg lightly beaten

  • 5 oz water

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • 1 tbsp of sumac

Aleppo Pepper Filling

  • 3 cups soaked chickpeas, overnight

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled

  • ½ cup parsley

  • 3 scallions

  • 1 tsp lemon juiced

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 3 tbsp flour

  • 1 tbsp falafel seasoning (cumin, coriander, cinnamon, white pepper)

  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper (more if we want it very spicy)

  • Salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Make the dough

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the egg, water, and salt until fully combined. Mix pepper, paprika, sumac, and all purpose flour together. Gradually add about 2 ⅔ cups of the flour mixture and stir to combine into a shaggy dough.

  2. Using your hands, gather the dough and turn it out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough with the heels of your palms until it is smooth, elastic, and no longer sticks to your hands, sprinkling on more flour as needed, about 5 minutes. Place the dough back in the bowl, loosely cover with a kitchen towel, and let it rest for 30 to 60 minutes.

Make the Falafel

  1. In a food processor, add raw chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, scallion, and parsley. Pulse until well combined. 

  2. Add lemon juice, baking powder, flour, falafel seasonings, and Aleppo pepper. Pulse for one additional minute until all combined.   

Make the Varenyky

  1. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time, roll the dough into a thin log about 10 inches long and 1 inch thick with your hands. On a floured surface, cut the log into approximately 12 1-inch pieces. They look similar to gnocchi.

  2. Using a flour-dusted rolling pin, roll each piece into an approximately 3-inch circle; if the dough is sticking to the surface of the rolling pin, dust with more flour.

  3. Working with 1 circle of dough at a time, place 2 tsp of the falafel fillings into the center. Gather the dough into a half-moon shape around the filling and pinch the top closed, then pinch both edges closed. Place the shaped varenik on a well-floured board or tray and continue filling the rest of the dough.

Cook the Varenyky

  1. Add 2 cups of vegetable oil (or canola oil) in a medium-sized skillet and heat up oil until it reaches around 350F.

  2. Add one varenyky at a time to shallow fry. Cook until the edges are golden brown for 2-3 minutes each side.

  3. Serve immediately along with dipping sauces of your choice, or cilantro-lime tahini dressing.