Who doesn’t like fried food?
The falafel is a warm and comforting food that is hearty and filling. It is a ball or patty of mashed chickpeas or fava beans with a variety of spices and sesame seeds that is deep fried to golden perfection. The falafel balls or patties are typically served inside of a pita and are one of the most popular dishes in the Middle East and Israel.
Maybe you have snagged one of these tasty dishes from a street vendor in New York City. Though that falafel was no doubt delicious, nothing beats the taste of one that is homemade. Sharing it with your friends and family makes it even better!
Where Did the Falafel Originate?
What would you say if someone were to ask you, “What is the most popular Israeli food?” Falafel!
Falafel has become so popular that you can find it being eaten by anyone—and nearly anywhere—in Israel. Rich and poor, young and old… it seems to be everyone’s favorite, and many consider it their national dish.
Did you know that the Israeli Ministry of Information and Diaspora Affairs have asked Israelis abroad to tell people that Israel has a rich cuisine that includes other delicacies beyond falafel and hummus?
Falafel, most likely, originated in Egypt, where it is called ta’amiya and is made from fava beans. The Hebrews who lived in Egypt and Syria were served falafel for generations. They eventually added chickpeas, and the yummy fried dish was adapted to what we commonly see today.
Falafel was made popular by Yemeni Jews in the 1950s. When they began reentry into the land of Israel, they brought with them the chickpea version of the dish. They also introduced the concept of serving falafel balls, or patties, in pita bread.
The Israeli falafel is known for being served inside pita bread and often includes an Israeli salad, tahini, and hummus. It might also be served with fried eggplant and hot sauce.
Whatever you fancy for dinner, Israeli falafel is easy to make and can be added to any meal to liven it up.
Want to Make It Even Easier?
Just double the falafel recipe and freeze half of the mixture (before adding bread crumbs and baking powder). When you are ready to make it, set it out to thaw and fry it up several hours later
Create one of our favorite salads such as Pomegranate, Chicken, and Couscous Salad or Red Leaf Lettuce Salad to accompany the falafel, and your meal is nearly complete!
Falafel is easy to make at home with a food processor. Mix, fry in olive oil, and serve with pita bread, salad, and tahini sauce and you’re all set!
- 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, well drained
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup bread crumbs (amount may vary depending)
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon King’s Valley Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 cup of King’s Valley Extra Virgin Olive Oil for frying
Step 1. Place chickpeas in a food processor and puree until the mixture becomes a thick paste.
Step 2. Place onion, parsley, and garlic in the food processor with the chickpea puree. Blend until well combined. Transfer the puree mixture to a large bowl.
Step 3. Whisk the egg into a small bowl. Then add the cumin, coriander, salt, baking powder, lemon juice, and black pepper to the egg and whisk again.
Step 4. Add the 1 tablespoon of King’s Valley Extra Virgin Olive Oil to the egg mixture. Then add it to the chickpea mixture until well combined.
Step 5. Gently fold the bread crumbs into chickpea mixture until it holds together but is not sticky. Adjust with more or less bread crumbs as needed.
Step 6. (The fun part!) Scoop out a golf ball-sized portion of the chickpea mixture and form into balls or flatten into small patties (if you prefer patties).
Step 7. Pour the 1 cup of King’s Valley Extra Virgin Olive Oil into a 1 inch deep, large skillet and place over medium heat.
Final step! Fry the patties in hot oil until browned. This typically takes about 3 to 5 minutes per side.
Enjoy them wrapped up in a pita, dipped in hummus, or just plain. They are delicious!
Let us know how this fabulous falafel recipe works for you HERE!
Want more recipes?
- For the King’s Valley Israeli Hummus recipe, click HERE!
- And for the Perfect Pita Bread recipe, click HERE!