Fabulous falafels


  • Prep Time15 mins
  • Total Time15 mins
  • Makes8 falafel sandwiches
*PLUS Cooking time: 30 minutes


  • 2 540-mL cans chickpeas, drained

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley, or coriander, about 1/2 to 1 bunch

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander

  • 3/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 8 pitas

  • 2 tomatoes, chopped

  • 1 small head iceberg lettuce, shredded

  • 1/2 English cucumber, chopped

  • 1/2 thinly sliced Spanish or red onion

  • drizzle of lemon-tahini sauce

  • harissa hot sauce, optional


  • Place drained chickpeas in a medium-size mixing bowl. Mash with a fork until crumbly (using a food processor makes chickpeas too soft and smooth). Add egg, onion, parsley, flour, garlic, seasonings and baking powder. Stir until well mixed.

  • Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop out mixture and shape into patties, each about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick. Place on waxed paper. You should have about 16 patties. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large frying pan set over medium heat. Add about a third of the patties to pan. Sauté until they are golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes per side, turning once. Cover to keep warm. Sauté remaining patties, adding more oil to pan if needed. Open up each pita; tuck in 2 patties. Top with tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber and onion. Drizzle with lemon-tahini sauce. For a fiery taste, add harissa.

In the Middle East, this is fast food. Street vendors fry these chickpea balls in bubbling oil, then tuck them into a pita with colorful salad. With a final flourish, they add a squirt or two of tahini and spicy harissa sauces. We've switched ours from the deep-fat fryer to the saute pan with excellent results.

Lemon-tahini sauce

Tahini is sesame-seed paste. It looks like light peanut butter and is sold in the condiment section of supermarkets. For lemon-tahini sauce, stir 1/2 cup tahini with 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/3 to 1/2 cup water, 1 large crushed garlic clove, 1/2 teaspoon salt and generous pinches of cayenne and freshly ground black pepper. Makes 1 cup