Falafel is the most popular and famous food ever, throughout the Middle East mostly in Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq. Falafel is cooked in many different ways and in a variety of shapes and sizes. Falafel is street food or fast food commonly sold throughout the streets of the Middle East. Falafel is a deep-fried patty made from ground chickpea or fava beans, or they mix both chickpeas and Fava beans depending where you go in the Middle East. I usually like to make my falafel with chickpeas. Falafel dish originated in Egypt and it is served in pita bread or wrapped in a flatbread. In Iraq, they usually serve the Falafel in samoon bread. The falafel sandwich is beautifully laid out in very organized layers of goodness and served in a very appetizing way and that is the secret of making the falafel sandwich so special and very popular. First, it starts with the bread any of your favorite bread (pita bread used as a pocket to make a sandwich or flatbread wrapped around the falafel or samoon bread opened from the side to put the falafel in it) second the sauce, there are 4 different sauces you can use they are, Yogurt sauce, Tahina sauce, (oil paste made from ground sesame seeds), Hummus paste and Baba Ganoush eggplant paste. The third is to organize the falafel inside the bread, the fourth vegetable salad (cucumber, tomatoes, green pepper, and lettuce), Amba (Mango Pickle Condiment) Salad and pickled turnips and beets (Tarshey) and lastly you drizzle the falafel sandwich with tahini sauce. That is how you make your falafel sandwich so heavenly and delicious, love it. You can also definitely eat the falafel all by itself and still taste heavenly.
All these sauces, salad and bread recipes are available on the Baghdad Cuisine website. Enjoy
Sauce for the falafel sandwich you have 4 options.
- Yogurt sauce, Iraqi Yogurt Cucumber Salad
- Tahina sauce, (oil paste made from ground sesame seeds)
- Hummus paste
- Baba Ganoush paste
Salad for the falafel sandwich
- Amba (Mango Pickle Condiment) Salad
- Pickled Turnips and Beets (Tarshey) Iraqi recipes
- Any of your favorite vegetables
- Iraqi Khoubz (Traditional Iraqi Flat Bread)
- Iraqi Bread Samoon
- 1 lb dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans – must be dry, cannot be canned it will not work
- 1 small red onion chopped
- 1 cup parsley chopped
- 1 cup cilantro chopped
- ½ cup celery chopped
- ½ red pepper chopped
- ½ jalapeno pepper chopped
- 7 cloves garlic
- Salt as preferred
- 2 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 tablespoon baking powder
- Oil as needed for frying
In a large bowl add the chickpeas and add cold water to cover the chickpeas by at least 2 inches then soak overnight. Drain the chickpeas from the water.
Using a food processor add the chickpeas, red onion, parsley, cilantro, celery, red pepper, jalapeno pepper, cloves of garlic, Salt as preferred, cumin, coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cardamom, and baking powder blended but not pureed. You know it is done when you can form a dough that does not stick in your hand. (you do not have to add all the ingredients in the food processor at one time, but can divide it into 3 to 4 times to mix well, I usually add the chickpeas in the food processor first after it is done I will take it out, then I would add all the herbs together then put the all the species).
This will form the chickpea mixture, from the mixture, make small balls about the size of walnuts, or you can use a falafel scoop, available in many of the Middle-Eastern markets also you can check online to purchase it. I really do not see any need for it, usually use my hand to form it into a ball and then flatten it into a small circle.
Heat up to 4 inches of oil on his heat then lower it to medium heat in a deep pot. Then start to fry your falafel for a few minutes on each side until they are golden brown. Put them on a paper towel.
How to make your falafel sandwich is explained in the above paragraph.