Falafels are typical vegetarian fare in Middle Eastern homes, especially in countries such as Israel and Egypt. It is also widely available in Europe and North America where ever you have a Middle Eastern restaurant or eatery. The twist in this recipe is the filling that goes into making the falafels and the toppings as well. Usually it is coleslaw as the salad of choice, but I find the broccoli slaw makes for a prettier and crunchier salad topping. Just a note: when cutting the pitas in half, there is no vertical or horizontal as it is round. But each half is supposed to create a pocket for the falafel balls and salad to go inside.
- Boil two cups of olive oil in a large pot or deep fryer. This should take at least 10 minutes.
- In a food processer, blend the chickpeas until smooth and then put it in a medium sized bowl. Add chopped cilantro, dried parsley, green onions, breadcrumbs and salt, and mix well. Add a little more breadcrumbs if necassary (I say this as in my first attempt to create this I added another heaping tablespoon of breadcrumbs).
- Make falafel balls 3 inches in diameter out of the chickpea mixture, but do not put them immediately into the hot oil. Test the heat of the oil by dropping a 1/4 teaspoon of the mixture; if the oil sizzles then it is ready.
- Drop the balls carefully one by one into the large pot or deep fryer. DO NOT overcrowd the pot or deep fryer or else the temperature of the oil will drop and the falafel balls will not cook at an even rate. It is better to cook them in batches.
- Cook for 5 minutes, and then with a skimming spoon (the ones you use to skin the fat off the stock or soups that you make), take the falafel balls out and put them on a towel to drain off the oil. Let cool completely, as this is served at room temperature. This mixture can make 16 falafel balls.
- In each pita pocket, put three falafel balls. Top them with the hummus, broccoli slaw, diced tomato and roughly grated baby carrots, (this can be done in a food processer, where you pulse 2 or 3 times for 2 seconds each. They should not be finely minced as this is how I like my carrots grated for carrot cake.
- Serve when ready.
A great taste sensation, and one that can be used over and over again, with or without variations. I love the broccoli slaw addition to the falafel. I used some fresh broccoli pulled directly from the garden and made my own slaw mix using the fresh veggies. A real supremo accompaniment to this dish. I didn't change anything and used some spicy hummus for the topping. The green onion is a yum-yum here! Made for Studentchef! September 2009