Tuesday, March 18, 2008


One of my favorite ethnic diets is from the Middle East. This can range anywhere from Lebanon, Israel, Greece, Palestine, Egyptian, Iran, Iraq, etc. Specifically I love Lebanese food (which is also considered part of the Mediterranean diet family too) and one of my favorite items is falafel. This is a really common fast food item there according to my friend wikipedia. Tahini, which is a sauce made from sesame seeds is a major component of Lebanese cooking. Aladdin's is the best place in town for Chicken Lentil Stew, I hope someday to pilfer said recipe from them somehow. Anyways- when I want to make falafel at home vs ordering take out or making it from a box, here is my favorite recipe:


2 cups water
1 cup white fava or garbanzo beans (canned)
1 egg
1 small red onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp. fresh parsley
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. finely chopped garlic
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. coriander
3/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. red pepper
vegetable oil

Mash warmed beans with a fork, adding 2-3 tbsp of the liquid from the can if necessary. Do not use a blender or food processor though. Stir in remaining ingredients except for oil. The mixture should be thick. Cover and let stand for one hour. Pinch off 1 inch pieces into rounds and flatten. Let stand 30 minutes. Heat 2 inches of oil in a 3 quart sauce pan to 375ºF. Fry several at a time 2-3 minutes each, turning once until golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Serve on pita bread or crumbled onto a salad.


MamaFeelgood said...

Why do I find myself bookmarking everything you post?

You should post your cherry banana bread recipe!!


Karen said...

i am currently obsessed with falafel! we made it this weekend and have some left over that i'm going to make for dinner tonight. YUM.

jenny mae. said...

ooh that bread is the jam jeannine!! nothing goes faster in this house

karen - recipe swap for your falafel?

Karen said...

okay i have to admit... i've never made it before until this weekend, and it's from a box mix i got at the co-op! it's really good though! i'm totally going to try your recipe, it looks super easy.

if i come across another recipe that i try, i'll let you know. :)

jenny mae. said...

some things are just better from a box (well compared to my own skill level) i think "fantastic" makes a WONDERFUL falafel!

Karen said...

yes! that's the brand i used!

jenny mae. said...

honestly stick with that stuff, it's aces. you should try their hummos. BEST!!!

Nick said...

I love falafel. I know them best from Portugal and Spain (gyro too) although I realize that they do not originate there. There's this great falafel chain called Maoz, not sure if you've heard of it. There is one in NYC, but tons around Barcelona and other places in Europe as well. They have a full open salad bar filled with tons of toppings for the falafel, from assorted veggies to hummus and olive tapenade, yogurt sauces, spicy sauces. I'm drooling just thinking about it.

Never considered making my own, but that seems to be the obvious next step for one that talks so in depth of falafel experiences =). Thanks for sharing.

- Peanut Butter Boy

Radiantsun said...

falafel is one of my favorite foods of all time. When I go to this mediteranean place for a falafel hummus wrap I get baked falafel....can your recipe be baked instead of fried?

jenny mae. said...

radientsun - oooh i've never thought of baking it! let me know if you try it and succeed!