Baked (not fried) Falafel

unbaked falafel

The Middle East is one of my least-explored regions of cuisine. There are foods that I have been exposed to and have come to love, like hummus, baklava, kibbeh, fatayer, and kebab. Then, there are others that I’ve heard about and just have no idea what they are. Like halva… or halawa? I know it’s sweet and made with semolina (but not always!), but do I eat it like hummus? Does it taste great on a cracker?

I’ve had falafel from time to time and they always struck me as bland little pucks, fried hard and nesting in a bland pita sandwich. So why did I try my hand at falafel sandwiches this week? First, I love sandwiches. LOVE them. The opportunity to make the best version of one (or at least my favorite version of one) that I didn’t really enjoy in the past was an exciting prospect. Second, cheap ingredients! The falafel “balls” are made mostly with chickpeas, along with some flour and spices. Beans, people. It doesn’t get much cheaper than that. Pita bread also happens to be very cheap, and with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce in the garden right now, there were very few other ingredients to buy. The tahini for one of the sauces was the most expensive purchase, but what remains can be used again to make hummus or other treats.

falafel in the blender

I used this recipe, from Tasty Kitchen, which includes the tahini-based sauce. However, you can call me crazy, but more is more when it comes to sauces. So I whipped up a quick version of tzatziki  and put some up in that sandwich too. I’m so glad I did. This recipe was really easy to put together, it’s healthy (baked not fried!) and Rebecca loved it.

The only thing I would change is:

falafel sandwich

…bigger pita bread.

 

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