I think falafel’s are one of my favorite things to make for dinner. You should know in advance though… there is nothing authentic about the way I make falafels. But, wow, are they delicious!
If you enjoy vegetarian meals that have an ethnic flair, I promise you, you will love this dish as much as I do! I take homemade falafel patties and fry them up in healthy canola oil. I layer them on a homemade, whole wheat-flax seed flatbread. Spring mix/baby spinach is then sprinkled on top, along with some chopped tomatoes. To finish off this beautiful, a homemade garlic-cucumber sauce is spread on top. Ammmmazing! These falafel wraps are a bit of work, but you won’t regret it one bit!
Plus… they are super healthy : D
To begin, get yourself a regular 14 oz can of chickpeas. Drain it,
then pour them into a large bowl and mash them.
Do NOT puree them! You want the texture to be retained.
I tried using a potato masher to do this originally, but found that smooshing them with my hands worked better.
Then get out your food processor and throw in the chopped onion, parsley, and garlic.
Puree until mixture is pretty fine, but not pureed smooth.
There will be a bit of water. That’s OK! It’s supposed to be like that.
Add the onion mixture right into the chickpeas.
In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, spices, lemon juice, baking powder and olive oil.
Basically all the remaining ingredients except for the breadcrumbs.
Mix the wet mixture into the chickpea mixture.
Then you want to add the breadcrumbs a little at a time.
You may not use the whole cup of breadcrumbs. It all depends on how much juice the onion released.
I definitely did not use the whole cup, more like 3/4 cup.
You’ll know you added enough when the mixture is still moist and can hold shape to form a patty.
Heat up about 1/2″ depth of canola oil in a frying pan.
While the oil is heating, shape your patties.
I make mine fairly small, about 2-3 Tb in size.
Gently drop them into the oil and fry on each side until nice and browned.
This only takes 1-2 minutes.
Just like any other fried good, drain them on a paper towel.
While the falafel patties were frying, I fried up my flatbread in a separate skillet.
This is my homemade whole wheat-flax seed flatbread : D
I provided the recipe separately below the recipe card for the falafel wraps.
So if you decide to make the flatbread this is what the dough will look like when you roll it out.
About 1/4″-1/8″ thick.
Heat up a dry skillet (no oil!) over medium high heat.
Brush the flatbread with olive oil.
Cook flatbread until browned and cooked on one side (2-3 minutes) then flip and repeat with opposite side.
Easy! And then you have delicious and healthy, homemade flatbread for your falafel wraps : )
BUT you can also use any type of flatbread or wrap that you would like! Store bought included.
To build your falafel wrap, start by piling on your falafel patties.
Three is actually a bit ambitious. Two would have definitely been more appropriate for this size wrap.
Needless to say I had trouble eating it later because it was a bit overloaded…
really, the best thing to do though is to break up the falafels into pieces along the bottom of the flatbread.
I think it’s much easier to fold up and eat that way.
After the falafel patties are on, sprinkle on some lettuce leaves of choice.
I thoroughly enjoy the 50/50 mix bag of spring mix and baby spinach.
It has the perfect mix of textures, plus the greens are dark so they are incredibly nutritious.
Feel free to go the romaine route though.
I like to toss on some seeded/de-watered, chopped tomatoes too.
I think some thinly slice or small chopped red onions would be good too.
Or some cucumber.
But there is also cucumber in the sauce.
This incredibly good garlic-dill sauce that is the final glorious step.
The sauce is basically a tatziki.
It’s made with greek yogurt (or plain if it’s all you have) along with some fresh garlic, dill,
and some finely chopped cucumber for texture.
It really makes the falafel wrap.
*Tip* Cucumbers are basically water, so if you want your sauce to be really good what you should
do is peel and scrape out the seeds of the cucumber before chopping. Then sprinkle the chopped cucumber with some salt and lay on some paper towels or in a colander, then pat them dry.
The salt will cause the cucumber to release a lot of its excess water which otherwise will be released into the sauce making it soupy.
You don’t want that do you? Soupy sauce? Naw, didn’t think so. Don’t worry, I’m there for ya ; )
When you finish spreading on the sauce you are ready to devour the goodness.
And I mean… goodness.
Ohhh, I love it!
So delicious, SO good for you.
A complete winner.
- For Falafel:
- 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- ½ cup fresh parsley
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp salt
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 Tb olive oil
- 1 cup plain dry bread crumbs
- canola oil for frying
- For Sauce:
- 1 (6 oz) container greek or plain yogurt
- ½ cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
- 1 tsp dried dill or 1 Tb fresh
- 1 Tb mayonnaise
- 1 tsp chopped garlic (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 50/50 spring mix & baby spinach or lettuce leaves of choice
- tomatoes, seeded and de-watered, chopped
- Flatbread (pita, naan, etc)
- For Sauce: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Mash chickpeas in large bowl until thick and pasty. Set aside. In food processor, process onions, parsley, and garlic until fine consistency, but not soupy. Stir into mashed chickpeas.
- In a small bowl, combine spices, egg, lemon juice, baking powder, and olive oil. Stir into chickpea mixture. A little at a time, stir in bread crumbs, you may not need them all. You want the consistency to be slightly sticky, so that it will hold when squeezed. Form patties, shaping about 2-3 Tb each in size.
- Heat ½" oil in large sauté pan (or cast iron skillet). Fry patties until brown on both sides, 1-2 minutes per side. Remove to paper towel for oil to drain. Serve on flatbread or in pita with lettuce, tomatoes, and sauce.
Whole Wheat Flax Seed Flatbread
1 (.25 oz) package active dry yeast (about 2 1/2 tsp)
1 cup warm water (105-110 degrees F)
1/4 cup white sugar
3 Tb milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup flax seed
olive oil, plus more for brushing
1. Place water in bowl of stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Pour in yeast and salt, swirl slightly to mix. Let actuate about 10 minutes, or until frothy.
2. Mix in egg and milk, turn machine on low and blend to combine with. Stop machine. Dump in all the whole wheat flour, flax seed, and all but 1/2 cup of all purpose flour. Turn mixer on low, kneading the flour into the dough. Continue to knead, adding more flour as necessary if it begins sticking to the side of the bowl, 6-8 minutes, or until it forms a tight and elastic ball.
3. Covered in an oiled bowl an let rise at room temperature 1 hour or until double. Punch down and divide into 12 balls. Cover with kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes at room temperature.
4. When you are ready to make the bread, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Roll out dough balls, about 1/4″-1/8″ thickness, and brush with olive oil on one side. Place dough, oiled side down no skillet. Brush the side turned up with olive oil. When the top side begins to bubble and the bottom has browned, flip over (about 2 to 3 minutes per side). Repeat with remaining flatbreads.