Falafel is very popular in the Middle East as a fast food. Vendors sell it on the street corners in Cairo. As a main dish, it is served as a sandwich, stuffed in pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes, and tahini. As an appetizer, it is served on a salad, or with hummus and tahini. Falafel is a favorite among vegetarians.

In Egypt, McDonald's has their version of a falafel sandwich. Can you guess the name? McFalafel, of course.


1 cup dried chickpeas or 16 oz. can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans.
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons flour
Oil for frying


Place dried chickpeas in a bowl, covering with cold water. Allow to soak overnight. Omit this step if using canned beans.

Drain chickpeas, and place in pan with fresh water, and bring to a boil.

Allow to boil for 5 minutes, then let simmer on low for about an hour.

Drain and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Combine chickpeas, garlic, onion, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper (to taste) in medium bowl. Add flour.

Mash chickpeas, ensuring to mix ingredients together. You can also combine ingredients in a food processor. You want the result to be a thick paste.

Form the mixture into small balls, about the size of a ping pong ball. Slightly flatten.

Fry in 2 inches of oil at 350 degrees until golden brown (5-7 minutes).

Serve hot.

Serving Suggestion

Falafel can be served as an appetizer with hummus and tahini, or as a main course. Stuff pita bread with falafel, lettuce, tomatoes, tahini, salt and pepper. As an alternative, falafel can be formed into patties and served like a burger.

Serves 4.

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