Falafel

Falafel is so good, and anyone can make it, as long as you can get your hands on a box of falafel mix. We usually buy Telma brand (it’s just what’s available, and a little pricey at grocery stores but some CVS stores carry it and it’s cheaper, like $3.50). You will also need to make tzatziki sauce. My (approximate) recipe and tips are below!


The tzatziki sauce:

  • The ingredients are a cup of greek yogurt, garlic, dill, lemon juice, salt & black pepper.
  • Really any recipe will do (this one looks great). Adjust the amount of cucumber/etc. to suit your preferences.
  • Some notes: They always say to use fresh dill (and we’d love to) but we use dried dill and it works fine. And many recipes say to strain the yogurt, but we never do. I do imagine my tzatziki sauce would suffer, though, if I didn’t have my mandolin for julienning the cucumber. And be sure–because not all recipes warn you–to drain/blot the cucumber before adding it to the yogurt, or it makes things watery.

The rest:

  • The ingredients are a box of falafel mix, pitas, leafy greens (spinach, lettuce, whatever), purple onion (or other onion), avocado if you want, tomato, cucumber, canola/vegetable oil.
  • Start preparing the falafel (Telma brand, at least, requires 10 min. of sitting mixed with water first).
  • Wash, dry and tear up the lettuce, slice the tomato reasonably thin, and then (bust out the mandolin, if you have one, and) cut the cucumber in little strips/matchsticks, and slice the purple onion paper thin.
  • Make the falafel balls. Aim to make them uniform in size (and I try to go towards the small end, since then the insides get done better, without burning the outsides), and smooth and round. This is so they will roll in the oil and evenly cook. Rinse your hands in cold water as needed (if the mix sticks to them too much).
  • Fry the falafel. (Don’t cry if, the first time, you burn them. It gets easier.) Blot them on paper towels.
  • Cut the avocado into chunks.
  • Briefly (like 10 seconds) microwave your pita-half, then gently open it.
  • Load it up! My insider tip is that you can use the spinach or bigger pieces of lettuce to make a sort of liner, to prevent the sauce turning your pita soggy. Or do whatever you want. I add a little of everything + some sauce, then do it again, then again if there’s room. And I smush the falafel balls before putting them in, so they can be better distributed.

Falafal night is basically taco night, except it’s vegetarian by default and you probably haven’t had it a thousand times before.

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