Before we moved to New York, Kramer and I hadn’t eaten that much falafel. It’s just not something that you see a lot of in Phoenix, and even if it’s available, I never say any of my friends order it when we were out. I’m not sure why that is, as falafel is absolutely delicious, not to mention vegetarian. My favorite place for falafel is obviously Mamoun’s – it’s honestly a New York institution and I try my best to bring any friends that visit there for a falafel sandwich (with plenty of their delicious hot sauce, of course). The best part about Mamoun’s is that it’s open late (as in, until 5 AM), so you can always count on getting a phenomenal falafel stuffed inside of a warm pita for $2.50 – you can’t beat that. Sadly, though, there isn’t a Mamoun’s in Williamsburg, so when I’m craving falafel on a lazy weekend where I don’t feel like leaving my warm apartment, I am forced to fend for myself and make my own. I had already made some fantastic roasted garlic hummus and spicy harissa, so the next step was obviously falafel. Falafel is really easy to make – just puree together some chickpeas, parsley, a variety of spices, and bulgur wheat (which I think is essential for the perfect texture), roll into balls, fry, and serve alongside your favorite condiments. I love biting into these; the outside is nice and crunchy, while the inside is packed with flavor. I highly suggest having some friend over, frying up some falafel, and seeing what kind of amazing food other cultures have to offer! The best part about falafel is that if you’ve never fried anything before, it’s a great place to start, as it’s vegetarian and you don’t have to worry about under-cooking anything – see? It’s a win-win.
Puree together your chickpeas and shallots, then add in your parsley and garlic and pulse until combined. Add in your bulgur wheat, flour, and spices, and pulse until the falafel comes together.
Cover and refrigerate your falafel mixture for at least an hour, or as long as overnight.
Gather together your other ingredients, like bell peppers, red onions, pita bread, and hummus. Heat your oil and roll your falafel into tablespoon-sized balls. I found this size was perfect for stuffing into pita pockets, but you can make them larger, too, if you like.
Fry them until well browned on all sides.
Then place on paper towels to drain.
Serve with your favorite toppings and sides and enjoy!
- 1 14 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 shallots, minced
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup roughly chopped parsley
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ cup bulgur wheat, plus more as needed
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- vegetable or canola oil, for frying
- pita bread, for serving
- sliced red onions, for serving
- sliced green bell pepper, for serving
- hummus, for serving
- spicy harissa, for serving
- Drain and rinse your chickpeas, then place in your food processor along with your minced shallots, minced garlic, parsley, salt, cumin, coriander, and red pepper flakes. Pulse until combined, but not completely pureed.
- Sprinkle the baking powder, bulgur wheat, and flour over the chickpea mixture, and pulse until combined. It should form into a nice ball - if it doesn't, add a bit more bulgur wheat or flour. Place the mixture in a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or as long as overnight.
- When you're ready to fry your falafel, form the falafel mixture into 2-tablespoon sized balls with your hands. Heat your oil in a heavy-bottomed pot - you want the oil to come up around the edges of the pot about an inch. Heat the oil to about 350 degrees F over medium-high heat, then add in your falafel in batches. Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side, then flip them over and fry the other side.
- Place the fried falafel on a plate lined with paper towels to drain, then stuff them into pita pockets with your preferred condiments and serve.