Falafel Sandwich

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Falafel Sandwich is one of my favorite light meals. Crispy texture from the falafel with a rich aromatic savory and herbaceous flavor. Falafel are naturally vegan, and oh yes! they taste incredible!

grab a falafel pita sandwich
Don’t forget to squash falafel flat before eating.

Falafel is probably the most widely consumed and recognised Middle-Eastern street food around the globe. It has risen to fame as one of the most popular street foods that you can find now all over the world. The combination of unique texture and distinguished taste from spices and fresh herbs. Everyone loves them but doesn’t know how easy they are to make at home.

Today I gonna show you how simple to make falafel at home. Once you know the secret of making them, you will make your own all the time. Serve them as snacks or make pita sandwiches and wraps!

What is Falafel?

Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty-shaped fritter packed with savoy herbs and spices, that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It has a long history in Middle-Eastern countries, as well as ancient Israel. There are a million ways to make falafel, but traditionally, it is made from pureed chickpeas, broad beans or other legumes, fresh herbs and spices.

scoop tzatziki sauce onto falafel pita

That wet mixture is then formed into balls or doughnuts and deep-fried in oil, giving the fritter a hearty crunch. It is usually served plain or in salads, sandwiches( pita pockets) and wrap in flatbread( taboon) along with hummus, tahini or lemony yogurt sauce.

Is Falafel Vegan?

The answer is Yes! Falafel is naturally Vegan. It is a great source of protein for vegans and vegetarians. Although, traditionally, falafel was deep-fried in lard or other animal fat. Today, however, falafel is most commonly cooked in plant-based cooking oil. Its use has expanded as vegan and vegetarian population has a rapid growing globally.

For this recipe, we are going to go for healthier alternatives- shallow-frying or bake falafel in the air fryer.

My Falafel Sandwich Recipe

In order to create this recipe, I’ve tried a few times with different ratio of fresh herbs and they all tasted great.

So my recommendation is, that the herb of choice here is just a guideline, you can change them according to your personal preference. For example. If you like parsley more, you can replace 2 cups of scallion with 2 cups of chopped parsley then replace a quarter cup of parsley with scallion and vice versa. Hey, there are endless variations out there when it comes to cooking.😘 

ingredients for falafel

For this recipe, you will need:

  • Chickpeas: for falafel, it’s best to use dried chickpeas to retain the bites of chickpeas. Use dried chickpeas that are soaked in cold water for at least 12 hours or if you don’t have the time, you can simply boil them in hot water for 10 minutes then leave them with a lid on for an hour. (That’s what I always do when I forgot to soak them in advance. )
  • Fresh herbs: I use fresh scallion, parsley( stem removed) and cilantro( coriander) for my falafel. As I said above, you can change the ratio of fresh herbs according to your personal preference. The taste of fresh herbs is why falafel is so good, they also give falafel a lovely green hue.
  • Spices and seasonings– I added ground coriander, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic roughly sliced. Add a little bit more garlic if you’re a big garlic lover.
  • Chickpea Flour(gluten-free): chickpea flour here is a binding agent. You can use plain flour or all-purpose flour as well.
  • Cook Oil: Any mild high-heat oil will work here, such as avocado, grape seed oil…etc.
bals of falafel on a white plate
You can deep fry, pan fry, oven bake, or air fry your falafel!
falafels cooking in shallow-frying
I use grape-seed oil for shallow frying.

Toppings for Falafel Pita Sandwich

ingredients for toppings
  • Pita Pockets( Pita Breads)- Pita bread is usually Vegan. However, some products do contain dairy milk, eggs, or honey. Make sure to check the ingredient labels before purchasing.
  • Salads– Lettuce, sliced tomatoes and red onions. Or you like middle-eastern feel, use Tabbouleh.
  • Tzatziki Sauce– Usually they are served with lemon yogurt sauce. Here I just simply use vegan tzatziki. ( click the link to see how to make it)
  • Lime wedges( optional)- squeeze it on the top of the filling.

How to make Falafel Sandwich

For this recipe, you will need a powerful food processor ( I use this model, they’re inexpensive and great.)

The overall process shot is the picture down below:

1. Soak dried chickpeas in cold water for at least 12 hours or if you don’t have the time, you can simply boil them in hot water for 10 minutes then leave them with a lid on for an hour then drain. (That’s what I always do because I forgot to soak them in advance. )

2. Drain chickpeas well. Place in food processor, add chopped scallion, parsley(leaves only), cilantro( conriander), ground coriander, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper . Blitz for 2 to 3 minutes on high.

3. Scraping down sides in-between( 3-4 times or more)

4. Blitz until the chickpeas and herbs are very small mince( grainy-looking)

5. Add chickpea flour, blitz for 2-3 minutes and scraping down sides in-between until everything is well-combined.

6. Scoop up the mixture and shape into balls (or dome, disc or torpedo), place on a plate. You should be able to make around 22-24, about 2.5cm / 1″ wide balls out of this recipe.

7. Pour 1 cup of oil in a skillet or large pan( at least 3″ depth). Heat on medium-high around 180 – 190C / 355F. Use a tong to place falafel balls into the hot oil and cook in batches for around 4 minutes, flip around by using a tong until golden brown and crusty on the outside. Drain on paper towels. Keep repeating the process with remaining falafel.

8. Fill each pita pocket with 3-4 patties. Divide tomato slices, lettuce, and thinly sliced red onion evenly among pita pockets, and drizzle evenly with sauce( the sauce here I used is our homemade vegan tzatziki sauce). For the falafel sandwich, you can serve them both warm or cold. Enjoy!

Fried or Baked falafel?

pan-fried vs air-fried falafels

The picture above shows shallow-fried vs air-fried falafel. The pan-fried falafel was close to deep-fried. Compared to the air-fried version, the air-fried falafel was drier and denser in the middle and the surface was less crunchy although I spread a fair amount of olive oil.

But they were both tasty with dipping sauce to pair with.

a pic of the middle of a falafel
Falafel sandwich is my all time favorite light meal!

Let me know how you like these falafel in the comments! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. 🥰

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grab a falafel pita sandwich

Falafel Sandwich

Falafel Sandwich is my favorite light meal. Rich aromatic savory and herbaceous flavor. Oh yes! It tastes incredible!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
soaking:: 12 hours
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 serve
Calories: 125kcal
Author: SHU-CHUN

Equipment

Ingredients

Ingredients for Sandwiches

  • 6 ea Pita Pockets( Note4)
  • 1 bunch Lettuce
  • 2 ea Tomatoes Sliced
  • ½ ea Red Onion Thinly sliced

For Frying

  • 1 cup cooking oil (Note5)

Instructions

  • 1. Soak dried chickpeas in cold water for at least 12 hours or if you don’t have the time, you can simply boil them in hot water for 10 minutes then leave them with a lid on for an hour then drain. (That’s what I always do because I forgot to soak them in advance. )
  • 2Drain chickpeas well. Place in food processor, add chopped scallion, parsley(leaves only), cilantro( conriander), ground coriander, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper . Blitz for 2 to 3 minutes on high.
  • 3. Scraping down sides in-between( 3-4 times or more)
  • 4. Blitz until the chickpeas and herbs are very small mince( grainy-looking)
  • 5. Add chickpea flour, blitz for 2-3 minutes and scraping down sides in-between until everything is well-combined.
  • 6. Scoop up the mixture and shape into balls (or dome, disc or torpedo), place on a plate. You should be able to make around 22-24, about 2.5cm / 1″ wide balls out of this recipe.
  • 7. Pour 1 cup of oil in a skillet or large pan( at least 3″ depth). Heat on medium-high around 180 – 190C / 355F. Use a tong to place falafel balls into the hot oil and cook in batches for around 4 minutes, flip around by using a tong until golden brown and crusty on the outside. Drain on paper towels. Keep repeating the process with remaining falafel.
  • 8. Fill each pita pocket with 3-4 patties. Divide tomato slices, lettuce, and thinly sliced red onion evenly among pita pockets, and drizzle evenly with sauce. (Note6)You can serve them warm or cold. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

(Note1)- for falafel, it’s best to use dried chickpeas to retain the bites of chickpeas. Use dried chickpeas that are soaked in cold water for at least 12 hours or if you don’t have the time, you can simply boil them in hot water for 10 minutes then leave them with a lid on for an hour. (That’s what I always do when I forgot to soak them in advance. )
(Note2)- the herb of choice here is just a guideline, you can change them according to your personal preference. For example. If you like parsley more, you can replace 2 cups of scallion with 2 cups of chopped parsley then replace a quarter cup of parsley with scallion and vice versa. 
(Note3)-Chickpea Flour(gluten-free): chickpea flour here is a binding agent. You can use plain flour or all-purpose flour as well.
(Note4)- Pita bread is usually Vegan. However, some products do contain dairy milk, eggs, or honey. Make sure to check the ingredient labels before purchasing.
(Note5)- Any mild high-heat oil will work here, such as avocado, grape seed oil…etc.
(Note6)- The sauce here I used is our homemade vegan tzatziki sauce.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serve | Calories: 125kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 409mg | Potassium: 380mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 614IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 3mg

Fur Diary

Soldier was spying on me making sure I follow the recipe!😅

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