Falafel in a Pocket

While sitting in the guest room of the auto shop waiting for my car to be serviced, I came across this idea from Better Homes for a quick and easy lunch. After picking up my boys from school and checking with them if they would like to have pita for their packed lunch the next day, I detoured to the store to buy a few cans of garbanzo beans or chickpeas. I planned to prepare the meal that evening so that I can warm and pack it in the morning. I did not take down the recipe for the falafel as I knew I would be able to find it on the web.

This falafel recipe is from About.com. I doubled the recipe and followed it to a tee as it was late in the evening and I wasn’t particularly adventurous. I made the falafel into patties instead of balls so that it will fit better in the pitas. It was fairly simple until it came to the deep frying part. The challenge here was to keep the falafel from falling apart in the oil. My first two were okay but the third one fell apart. I then tried pan frying but was not satisfied with the results. I went back to deep frying and finally managed to come up with 12 of 16 patties. The reviews were mixed as some had difficulties while others loved it. Quite a few said that adding an egg helped. I must say that it was delicious and we all enjoyed our lunch the next day.

Do add your own mix of ingredients to assemble the pockets. I used the following:

Grape tomatoes
Kalamata and green olives
Feta cheese

Some hummus would go nicely with it but unfortunately I did not have any. Some vegenaise might work too. It made a very satisfying lunch.

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!

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  1. IJust LoveMyApron says

    This looks delicious Biren! I'm jealous of your boys to have such a wonderful mommy and a good cook :)

  2. Jillyann says

    How I love falafal!!!!!! I must say, one of my favorite sandwiches. I have a strange method of making lower fat (not fried falafal) that might interest you Biren. As I am ridiculously allergic to eggs (and primarily a vegan anyway), I use what I like to call "flax seed goo" as a binder…also I add some gf garbanzo flour which helps make them a little stiffer than just ground chickpeas. Flax seed goo is about the consistency and texture of a raw egg white with all the health benefits of flax. Its easy to make. Place 2 T. raw flax seeds in 8 ounces cold water and stash in the fridge overnight (about 10-12 hours). The weirdest thing happens…as the seeds swell, they release this enzyme from the nuclei that looks and FEELS just like a raw egg white. Since we all know flax is a common substitute for eggs in vegan cooking, I thought…well why not? So when your done soaking, just strain out the seeds and you are left with flax seed goo! I use a scant 1/4 cup to replace each whole egg and a scant 2 T for egg whites. Of course, the dish you are making sometimes dictates how much depending on desired moisture.

  3. Jillyann says

    So the baking part is really easy too…use a small scoop (1 ounce) and place the falafal in greased muffin tins. If you want flatter patties…use a regular muffin tin and just flatten slightly with the bottom of a shot glass (greased). If you want balls, you can do them in mini muffin tins. I usually brush the tops with olive oil. Bake till crispy and browned.

  4. Angie's Recipes says

    I have never made falafal at home….maybe I should try the recipe too. Looks so delicious and comforting.

  5. Kristi Rimkus says

    I've never made a falafal at all. I love the word! I was at a writer's workshop and one of the bloggers said he never uses canned beans, he always uses dried. He said the texture and flavor is fresher. Once I have a kitchen back, I'll give it a try with these. Fun dish!

  6. rotinrice says

    Wow Jillyann, thanks for the tips! I did think of using the besan or garbanzo bean flour but it was kind of late and I just wanted to get it done. The flax seed goo sounds interesting and I'll definitely try it. I try to avoid eggs as much as possible as someone in the family has a sensitivity to it. I use a lot of the chickpea flour as a binder but it does have its own flavor. The flavor is nice but it depends on what I am cooking and it does not always come out well.

  7. rotinrice says

    I really like this idea of baking it as I am not a fan of deep frying at home. It can be messy. When I really want something deep fried, I just go to the store or restaurant. They do it much better with their commercial deep fryers. I'll try baking them the next time. Thanks again!

  8. rotinrice says

    Maybe that's why it is falling apart. I'll have to try and see if using dried beans will hold better. Thanks for the tip.

  9. Pam says

    It looks delicious. I've never made it and must give it a try. I always have trouble deep frying though, it ends up too greasy so will keep trying. Thanks for the recipe!

  10. The Mom Chef says

    Yum, I love falafels too and this makes me want to make a batch myself! Thanks for posting this and for the gorgeous pictures

  11. lequan@luvtoeat says

    i've never had falafels before. then again, when it comes to cooking for my family i usually stick to what i'm familiar with. i'm working on changing that though cause food blogging has changed the way i see things. i've come to realise that kids really enjoy eating with their hands. i know your kids are older but mine would rather eat with their hands than with a fork or spoon (knives are off limits for now). this would be a great lunch or dinner for them. thank you for sharing Biren.

  12. Cristina TeenieCakes says

    I like all the ingredients you used in the pita, especially the feta and kalamata. The falafel looks like they have a great texture!

    Biren…you and your family have a safe and great holiday weekend!


  13. Cook with Madin says

    love, love falafel. I've been thinking about making them since last week. I've been craving for them. Thank you for your post. You gave me the inspiration to go ahead and make them. Thank you for the recipe.

  14. Reeni says

    I've tried the same recipe Biren, and mine fell apart too. Yours turned out a lot better than mine. The pitas look really delicious! What a great lunch box treat!

  15. rotinrice says

    It was a little tricky! I had to handle it very gingerly and fried only two or three at a time. Next time I will add some besan or chickpea flour as it is a good binder.

  16. Julie M. says

    Those look really good. I've never made falafel before so I don't have much advice. I'd think, like others mentioned, that maybe an egg substitute of some sort. I've read that flax seed can replace an egg.

  17. love2cook says

    Good morning dear! Hru doing today??? Pocet Falafel makes me drool over n over! Take care and have a great weekend ahead! 😉

  18. Anna says

    I love falafel with pita, yours looks delicious with feta and Kalamata olives. Definitely a great lunch. :-)

  19. MaryMoh says

    I have not tried falafel. It looks delicious here. A beautiful dish. Thanks for sharing. Have a fun weekend.

  20. denise fletcher says

    I've never made falafel at home but should change that! Now that you've warned us I think I might add egg if I tried this though I usually shy away from using eggs. This looks absolutely wonderful Biren and I love everything you've stuffed into the pockets.

  21. bunkycooks says

    I have never made my own falafel as I try to avoid frying as much as possible. I can bet that the homemade version is really good, even if a few did fall apart. :)

  22. Joanne says

    I'm sorry these little babies were so disagreeable! I've baked my falafel in the oven and they manage to stay together pretty well. I think an egg would help though! They certainly look tasty.

  23. Risa says

    I've made falafel in the past. It has a tendency to fall apart. I don't think that egg is authentic but if it works why not?

    I especially like it in pita with the white thick sauce and some hot sauce, a little bit of red onion. No olives.

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