plate of falafel with fixins

A plate of cooked falafel presented with some potential sandwich fixin’s.

Falafel seems to be internationally known. It tends to appeal even to the uninitiated in foreign foods. If you haven’t tried it already, imagine a pocket of pita (Arabic) bread, filled with piping hot falafel, topped with vegetable slices, moistened with the tangy Tahina Sauce, and if your taste buds so desire, a few drops of hot sauce to boot!

Compare the falafel to the hamburger. In the Middle East it is sold on every other corner, from restaurants to sidewalk stands; falafels presented in a sandwich or in a paper cone to simply munch on.

Clearly falafel is healthful food. It is also very popular with vegetarians.

When frying falafel be especially mindful of the wee children hovering about the kitchen.

Ingredients

500 mL (2 cups) dried chick peas (absolutely not canned)
1 medium onion quartered
2-3 cloves garlic
2-3 slices stale bread
50 mL (1/4 cup) parsley
1/3 head sweet red pepper
10 mL (2 tsp) salt
3 mL (3/4 tsp) black pepper
10 mL (2 tsp) cumin
10 mL (2 tsp) oregano
10 mL (2 tsp) ground coriander
5 mL (1 tsp) red hot pepper flakes
20 mL (4 tsp) flour
10 mL (2 tsp) baking powder
50 mL (1/4 cup) water
5 mL (1 tsp) baking powder
125 mL (1/2 cup) water
vegetable oil for deep frying

Directions

Pick out foreign matter from between the peas. Place in a large bowl, cover generously with water and soak overnight.

Finished falafel mix

Falafel mix after thoroughly ground in a Cuisinart.

Drain peas. Add onion, garlic, bread, parsley, and red sweet pepper. Run through the fine blade of a meat grinder. (You may process in food processor until mealy.) Add spices, flour, 10 mL (2 tsp) baking powder and water. Mix well.

In a small dish mix the remaining baking powder and water. Use it to moisten the palm of your hands and form balls of the chick peas mixture the size of walnuts, then flatten a bit.

Falafel maker

A falafel shaped in a falafel maker available in Middle Eastern stores.

Deep fry in oil at medium high heat until golden brown. Serve piping hot.

Arrange in halved loaves of pita (Arabic bread), topped with salad vegetables and Tahina Sauce. Hot pepper may also be sprinkled on top.

Possible Toppings

tomatoes
pickles
sauerkraut
green peppers
pickled turnips (a wonderful Middle Eastern treat)

Making a falafel sandwich

Makes 5-7 servings

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