What is Falafel?

Editor
If you haven’t tried this Middle Eastern street food, you’re missing out
Wikimedia Commons/ Morbuto
Falafel starts with ground raw chick peas, fava beans, or both, mixed with other ingredients like parsley, garlic, green onion, and cumin before being shaped into a ball and then deep-fried.

Falafel is one of the most popular dishes eaten throughout the Middle East, and is also one of the most delicious vegetarian foods in existence. Even if you haven’t tried it before, there’s nothing to be afraid of.

So what is falafel, exactly? It starts with ground raw chick peas, fava beans, or both, mixed with other ingredients like parsley, garlic, green onion, and cumin before being shaped into a ball and then deep-fried. It can be eaten as-is or as part of a platter, but it’s traditionally tucked into a pita pocket and topped with lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, hummus, tahini (a sesame-based sauce), and a variety of other garnishes depending on the restaurant. Both the fried ball and the sandwich are called falafel.

Even though it’s deep-fried, falafel is quite healthy. It’s loaded with protein and soluble fiber, as well as other nutrients like calcium, iron, and vitamin C.

So the next time you come across a falafel stand, try one! We guarantee that you won’t be disappointed. 

Related Links
Taste Test: Trader Joe’s FalafelTravel Photo of the Day: Falafel Snackshot of the Day: Falafel PlatterAmsterdam Falafelshop Expanding RapidlyNaf Naf Grill: The “Chipotle of Falafel”