The Lebanese Street Food That Has Conquered The World
Falafel is to Lebanon like the Starbucks Coffee in the US and the Second Cup in Canada. It is as popular as that, and as consumed. It is another one of our traditional foods that have traveled the world and settled, in same or different versions, in different countries.
I have eaten Falafel wraps in various countries. My favorite ones are done in Lebanon with the right combination of toppings.
Tahini Dressing is an inseparable mate of the Falafel. It is that particular combination that makes this nutritious sandwich most delicious.
Recently, I got to grab a Falafel Sandwich in downtown Montreal, and I was very disappointed that the essential Tahini Dressing was substituted with a fade version of Hummus.
Falafel is the Arabic plural term for pepper and it is significant to its strong fragrance of various spices.
A super nutritious food, Falafel is highly recommended for its nutrients. A new cooking version is on the rise this past decade, substituting the deep-frying with baking/roasting for an even healthier intake. This is the recipe I am offering you today.
Against common belief, chickpea is not the main ingredient of the Falafel. Fava Bean is.
Making Healthy Falafel at Home
This very simple recipe will tell you how to make Falafel at home. It uses the dry Fava beans and chickpeas, which you need to soak overnight.
They are then mashed and mixed in a food processor with chopped onions, garlic, baking soda, and seasoned with a rich variety of spices. It is the resulting coarse thick paste that is formed into patties and cooked.
How to Make Falafel Wrap
Falafel is mainly eaten in Sandwich (Wrap) or with pita bread when part of a Mezza menu. In order for you to enjoy this Falafel recipe to its fullest, here is how you make the Falafel Wrap:
On a Lebanese Pita Bread, align in the center 3 freshly cooked Falafel balls, and press on gently to smash them a little.
- Pour on 4-5 tbsp of Tahini Sauce (I love mine generous with Tahini, aka, I go for even more!).
- Top them with Tomatoes, chopped Fresh Parsley, sliced Radish, and Lebanese cucumber pickles and/or turnip pickles.
That is the traditional Lebanese Falafel Wrap!
Some like to add lettuce and onions. You might, but having grown up eating the right Falafel Wrap, I discard any other added vegetables that mend with its original amazing taste.
This recipe yields 20 patties that suffice for 7 Falafel Wraps
Enjoy it! Life is Good!
Falafel PattiesPrep Time 25 minutesCook Time 30 minutesTotal Time 55 minutesServings 20 patties
- 1/2 cup Dry Chickpeas soaked overnight (12h) then drained
- 1 cup Dry Fava Beans soaked overnight (12h) then drained
- 1 Onion (small) chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 tsp Dry Cilantro
- 1 tsp Dry Parsley
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1/4 tsp Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 2 tbsps Vegetable Oil
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
This recipe requires an overnight soaking of beans and chickpeas (12h)
Preparing the Falafel Paste
Beans and Chickpeas must be well dried from the water before proceeding.
In a food processor, mix Beans, chickpeas, garlic and onions, and chop well.
Add the baking soda, all the spices, dry herbs, and salt, and whisk well into a coarse thick paste.
Making the Patties and Roasting
Preheat your oven to 356F (or 200C).
Divide the paste into 20 patties, pressing them lightly between your palms, and place them on an oiled non-stick oven tray.
Roast the patties for 20 minutes or until crispy and golden brown on both sides.
Place the Falafel patties into a serving plate, and decorate if you want, with fresh herbs: parsley or mint.
Have a Tahini Dressing bowl on the side, Lebanese pita bread, Lebanese cucumber pickles, or Lebanese Beet pickles, and some cut tomatoes.
For Falafel Wrap, please refer to the recipe in the article above. Enjoy!
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