Falafel is an eastern Arab flavorful fried vegetable and spice mixture. It is most commonly served as a fast-food type sandwich inside a pita. These pockets of flavor and crunch are sold by street vendors along many Middle Eastern city streets. This dish is rich in fiber, protein and vitamins and is a very popular selection for vegetarians and vegans.
Here’s a recipe for six falafel patties meant to serve in pita bread:
- 8oz package of dried chick peas
- 1 onion, very finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 1 slice of white bread, soaked in water
- Cayenne ¼ teaspoon
- Coriander, ground 1 teaspoon
- Cumin, ground 1 teaspoon
- Baking powder or bicarbonate of soda 1 teaspoon
- Canola oil
- Lemon wedges
- Topping of your choice: tahini, etc.,
- Soak the peas (or beans of your choice) overnight. Then cover with fresh water; bring to a boil and then, simmer for one hour.
- Drain the cooked peas or beans and blend to a pureed consistency.
- Squeeze the water from the bread and add to the pureed peas.
- Add in the spices, garlic and onion.
- Wet your hands and knead the mixture well for several minutes.
- Let rest for 2 hours in a covered bowl, then separate (with wet hands) and roll/form into patties.
- Heat oil (preferably canola oil) to 360 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Fry each patty until browned – approximately 3 to 4 minutes.
- Drain on paper towels and squeeze fresh lemon wedges over them.
- Assemble into pita sandwich and top as desired.
- 2 (15-ounce) cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
- 3 to 4 tablespoons, plus 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten with a fork
- Salt and pepper
- 3 quarts vegetable oil, for frying
- 3 good quality pita breads, cut in 1/2
- Sesame Mint Yogurt Sauce, recipe follows
- 1 English cucumber, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 small head iceberg lettuce, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 green pepper, seeded and chopped into bite-sized pieces
In a food processor, combine the garbanzo beans, 3 to 4 tablespoons flour, Herbs, garlic, cumin, cayenne, egg, and salt and pepper; pulse together until almost smooth. Transfer mixture to bowl. The mixture should be firm enough to form balls; if not, add additional flour as needed. Shape mixture into balls about 2 inches in diameter. Toss in remaining 1/2 cup flour to coat all over. Set aside until oil is hot enough to fry.
Heat oil over medium-high heat until about 375 degrees F. Test with some extra falafel mix to see if the temperature is right; it should sink and rise to the surface and float. Add falafel balls in batches so as not to crowd them and cook until crisp and golden, about 8 minutes. Carefully remove from oil and drain on paper towels.
Fill pita halves with a few falafel balls, cucumber, lettuce, onions and peppers, and top with yogurt sauce.
Sesame Mint Yogurt Sauce:
- 2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt, preferably Greek-style
- 1 bunch mint leaves, finely chopped
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- Salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients in a bowl until well incorporated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Falafel Sandwiches Video...
See more falafel recipes from the Middle East Cuisine:
- Lebanese Falafel: Try the Lebanese version of doing falafel using chickpeas.
- Egyptian Falafel: Try the Egyptian version of doing falafel using fava beans .
- Palestinian Falafel: Try the Palestinian version of doing falafel using chickpeas.
- Israeli Falafel: Try the Israeli version of doing falafel using chickpeas.
- Falafel Sauce
- Falafel sandwiches