Falafel sandwiches are a huge weakness of mine, especially the ones sold in New York City for as little as $2, yeah just TWO BUCKS!
To be more specific, I’m speaking of Mamoun’s Falafel in NYC’s Greenwich Village. It is a total hole in the wall, and yet serves up the most mouthwatering, authentic falafel sandwiches you will ever taste in your life. I swear!
Unfortunately given that falafel is typically fried, and not baked, I don’t eat it as often as I’d like to, but I sure can recreate a baked version at home which can be quite healthy.
I found a delicious falafel recipe on Allrecipes and made some tweaks along the way to suit my needs. Surprisingly, the preparation time for making the falafel batter is less than 10 minutes. Just add all the ingredients to your food processor and pulse away.
Then using a mini-scoop, scoop out the batter onto a baking tray and straight into the oven. It’s crazy to think how intimidated I was to make falafel all these years.
Lastly, instead of topping the sandwich with tahini sauce (didn’t have any), I opted for hummus and tzatziki sauces and finished it off with Frank’s Original Hot Sauce, yup, I’ll put that on just about anything.
Immediately after I was done, I packed up all the ingredients and stopped over at my dad’s to make him some falafel sandwiches. Of course, he loved them! Please let me know your thoughts if you make these.
NUTRITION: Chickpeas are a great source of Protein, Fiber, Iron, and Folic Acid. Parsley is an excellent source of Vitamins A, C, and K, and a good source of Folic Acid and Iron. Cilantro is a good source of Vitamin C and contains small amounts of Vitamin E. Tomatoes are a good source of Vitamin A and C.
for the falafel (mostly adapted from Allrecipes – made some tweaks; makes 18 falafel balls – enough for 4 sandwiches):
- Chickpeas – 1-15 ounce can
- Onion – 1 (small)
- Parsley – 1 large fresh handful
- Cilantro – 1 small fresh handful
- Garlic – 3 cloves
- Egg – 1
- Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
- Coriander Powder – 2 tsp
- Red Chili Powder – 1/4 tsp (or you can use paprika)
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Lemon Juice – 1 tsp
- Baking Powder – 1 tsp
- Olive Oil – 1 tbsp
- White Flour – 1/4 cup (will try whole wheat flour next time)
for the sandwich:
- Pocket Pita Bread – preferably use whole wheat that opens up – I wasn’t able to find any though.
- Mixed Greens – handful
- Red Onion – 1 (sliced)
- Tomato – 1 (chopped)
- Hummus – enough to spread inside the pita (store bought or you can make your own)
- Tzatziki Sauce – small dollops (store bought or you can make your own)
- Frank’s Original Hot Sauce – add a little on top
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Start by adding all the ingredients to a food processor.
3. Eventually this is what you’ll have.
4. Now pulse several times until the batter is all combined.
5. This is what you should have. Taste it and see what’s missing. I added a bit more parsley. Pulse again.
6. Now using a mini-scoop, form little balls and place them on a baking tray. I used parchment paper since I was out of foil paper.
7. This is what you should have. Into the oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
8. The recipe suggests baking the falafel for 20 minutes, however I wasn’t completely satisfied at that point since it tasted a bit undone. I baked these for an additional 5 minutes. These are slightly crispy on the outside, and moist and gooey on the inside – that’s the best I can explain it. And filled with tons of flavor.
9. Now slice a red onion, chop a tomato, and wash the mixed greens.
10. Start by cutting the top 1/3 of the pita off. I snacked on this part and tzatziki sauce while I made the sandwich.
11. Microwave the pita for about 20 seconds. Carefully open the pocket without breaking it.
12. Spread the hummus inside the pita. Add the mixed greens, 2 pieces of falafel, and red onions.
13. Now top with tomatoes.
14. Finish it off with 2 more pieces of falafel, some mixed greens, and tomatoes. Add the tzatziki sauce and top with Frank’s Original Hot Sauce.
15. So so so good and healthy for you, too.
TELL ME: Do you love Middle Eastern food? If so, what are some of your favorite items to order when dining at a Middle Eastern restaurant?