Falafel Pitas

Falafel Pitas

For someone who prefers to eat plant-based foods, finding a fast food joint or a quick take-out option for dinner can be a challenge at times, especially when travelling. But there is one food that I usually fall back on in these situations with pleasure: falafels.

These crunchy, yet tender patties of chickpea filled goodness, paired with a myriad of toppings in either a pita wrap or on a platter make for a satisfying meal-on-the-go. But falafels don’t have to only be enjoyed out of your local Middle Eastern restaurant. This recipe provides an easy way to create falafel pitas in your own home. No, you don’t need a deep-fryer, only the food processor (although even just a potato masher can do the job).

I’ve chosen to make patties rather than the more traditional balls. This way, the familiar falafel texture can be achieved after cooking, without the deep-fryer. The tahini spread is very simple to make and adds another flavour layer lead by the kick of garlic, and finished with refreshing citrus. As for the toppings; in the recipe, I listed some that are our favourites, but feel free to experiment and add, or exclude some based on your own tastes. You’ll end up with a large, delicious pita, that might even fall apart and create a mess out of your plate and hands, but isn’t that a part of the full falafel eating experience anyway?

 

 

Falafel Pitas

Falafel Pitas

Yield

Makes 4 pitas

Prep time

Active time:

Total time:

How it's made

Tahini spread

½ cup tahini sauce

 

Mix in a small bowl and place in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the pitas.

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tbsp water

1½ tbsp lemon juice

 

Patties

2 14 oz cans of chickpeas (3 cups), rinsed and drained

 

Pour into the food processor and process until fully integrated, about 2 minutes. Place into the fridge for 1 hour.

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

⅓ cup flour

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (or 2 tsp dry)

2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

1 - 2 small red chillies, seeded and chopped

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

½ tsp cayenne pepper

 

⅓ cup of oil, or as needed

 

Place enough oil into a pan to cover the bottom of it, and heat over medium-high heat until a water droplet sizzles when dropped in the pan. Create patties by taking a golf ball sized piece of the chickpea mixture, rolling it into a ball, and then flattening with your palms until a ⅓ inch thick patty is made. Place patties into the pan and fry for about 4-5 minutes per side, until golden.

 

4 pitas

 

Open pitas carefully. In the middle of each spread 2 tbsp of tahini spread, 2 falafel patties, 2 sliced pickles, 3 slices of tomato, a few slices of red onion, sprinkle some red cabbage, and ½ tsp of hot sauce if desired. Roll pitas, bite, and don’t worry about the mess you’ll make on your plate, it will all end up in your stomach in the end.

8 pickles, sliced

2 medium tomatoes, sliced

1 cup red cabbage, sliced

1 small red onion, sliced

2 tsp hot sauce (optional)

Helpful tips

The tahini spread and cooked patties can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days. That way, the sandwich can be assembled when desired using cold patties, or you can warm them up by heating the pan over medium heat and cooking the patties for about 3 minutes per side, or until heated through.