falafel sandwich
Prepare time: 14 hr
Cook time: 2 hr 30 min
Ready in: 16 hr 30 min
  • 2 cups of dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans – ditch the can, start from scratch
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3-5 cloves garlic (roast them to add another level of yum)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of ground cardamom
  • Vegetable oil for frying (grapeseed, canola, or peanut oil can work as well)



Let’s soak the peas. This will take overnight so don’t expect to start eating them today.

Also, during soaking, if you discover you don’t have a food processor, I suggest you go out and buy one; it’s needed!

In a large bowl pour chickpeas along with cold water. Submerge them under 3 inches of water; they’ll double in size.

After you had your morning coffee and maybe a bowl of granola, you’ll want to drain the garbanzo beans. Pour beans into food processor along with onion, garlic, parsley, flour, salt, cumin, ground coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper and cardamom.

Now pulse. In between pulsing, scrape sides to push down mixture. Process until mix’s texture resembles a rough paste – don’t over-process, you don’t want a smooth paste.

Once done processing, pour mix into bowl and stir with a fork. If you discover an unprocessed garbanzo bean or a large piece either eat it or curse at it…you don’t want that guy in there.

Cover mixture and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Pour oil in skillet, about 1½ inches of oil. Heat oil slowly over medium heat.

As oil slowly heats, form falafel mix into round balls. Use wet hands. Each falafel ball should be about 2 tbsp of mix.

Once they fry you’ll their bond will tighten so don’t fret if you see loose balls.

If perchance you see them not holding, process the mix until you get mix is more paste-like. When frying and you don’t see a good bond throw in 2-3 tbsp of flour to mix. And as last resort, add 1-2 eggs in mix.

Before frying batches of falafels, do a test on one. If oil has reached optimal temperature, falafel should brown in 2-3 minutes per side. If it cooks faster, oil is too hot. Cool oil and and run a test again.

Once correct oil temperature has been reached, cook in batches (5-6 at time, evenly spaced).

When falafels brown, remove them with slotted spoon.

Place falafels on paper towels to drain.

Serve fresh and hot.

Falafels can be placed in pita, covered in tahini sauce, and paired with tomatoes and shredded lettuce.

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Food will always say more than a story or image can about a single culture and its struggle to remain as one. The story that inspired this falafel recipe reveals a beautiful perception about a middle eastern society.

Relive Nikki’s experience as she travels from Israel to Egypt.

This recipe was inspired by Nikki Hodgson's story:

The Road to Dahab | Jerusalem to Egypt


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