Street food in many Arabic countries, falafel is a delicious Arabic fast food of fried balls (or patties) of ground and seasoned chickpeas stuffed into a pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes, and a tahini sauce. It’s amazingly easy to make. The chickpeas are soaked overnight and not cooked before being ground up in the food processor with the other ingredients.

[Credit: ©]
Credit: ©

Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus overnight for soaking the chickpeas

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

1-1⁄4 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in room-temperature water

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1⁄4 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander

1-1⁄2 teaspoons salt

1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda

1⁄4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Vegetable oil for frying

For serving:

4 pita breads, warmed

2 cups iceberg lettuce, shredded

1 tomato, cored and diced

1⁄2 cup Tahini with Yogurt Dip

  1. Drain the chickpeas. Place in a food processor bowl and coarsely chop.

  2. Add the onion, garlic, parsley, cumin, coriander, salt, baking soda, and cayenne pepper. Process until finely chopped.

  3. Place the mixture in a bowl and add the flour.

  4. With wet hands, form 4 patties, about 3 inches in diameter.

  5. Fill a large nonstick skillet with 1⁄2 inch of the vegetable oil. Heat over medium-high heat. Fry the falafels on each side until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

  6. Open one edge of the pita breads. Place a quarter of the lettuce and tomatoes in each. Place a falafel in each pita bread. Drizzle the falafel with some of the Tahini with YogurtDip.

To serve falafel as an appetizer, roll the mixture into small bite-sized balls and fry them until golden brown. Serve on a bed of lettuce and diced tomato. Drizzle generously with some of the sauce.

Tahini with Yogurt Dip

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2-1/4 cups

1 cup tahini

1-1/4 cups drained or Greek-style yogurt


Combine the tahini and yogurt in a mixing bowl. Taste and add salt if necessary.