Falafel (פלאפל)

So yeah, falafel (פלאפל) is awesome. I don’t know if its official, but its pretty much the Israeli national food. I recently made my own hummus, then shortly after my own pita, so I figured that I might as well finish it out and give falafel a try. Mine definitely has the distinct falafel flavor, but definitely a tinge different than the shuk falafel I usually buy. Keep in mind that a lot is to taste so by adding or removing things can change the flavor quite dramatically. Here is how I made mine.

1 Cup Dry Chickpeas
1 Small/Medium Onion – Chopped
4 Large Pieces of Garlic – Chopped
2 Tbsp Cilantro – Chopped
2 Tbsp Parsley – Chopped

5 Tbsp Flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Hot Chili Flakes
1 Tsp Sweet Paprika

The night before you want to make falafel, soak chickpeas in cold water and let them sit until the next day. They will absorb quite a bit so make sure there is enough water to completely cover them and then some.

The next day
Drain the chickpeas. Chop onion, garlic, cilantro, and parsley. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, cumin, chili, and paprika. Add everything into food processor and blend up. Not too much mind you, or you’ll end up with something like hummus. Everything should be mixed thoroughly and have a coarse consistency. Set the mixture in fridge for at least an hour.


After the flavors have had a chance to blend together and the flour absorbs the moisture, its time to cook! Heat several inches of canola oil in a pot. You’ll be dropping cold falafel mix into it, so the temperature needs to be hot enough to stay cooking heat, but not so hot that the outside will get dark and the inside will not finish cooking. So try one by itself to get it right.

To get the balls, I used a nice half round measuring table spoon and another spoon to round off the top and scoop it into the pot. One could even more easily use a falafel scoop. But alas, I was not able to find one on short notice… next time I go to the shuk for sure.

Spoon in 6 or so falafel at a time. If the oil doesn’t cover them completely you’ll need to make sure to turn them over.


Cook for a few minutes until golden. I used a metal spatula this time, but I’ll probably look to get a strainer scoop of some sort to pull them out of the oil.


Crunchy, golden, and delicious!!

Eat it with pita, hummus, Israeli salad, and some סחוג to turn it into a nice falafel meal :)

Pita (פיתות)

I grew up eating pita bread sandwiches in the States. It was thin, hard, and not really flavorful. I guess it was the experience of the pita pocket sandwich that made it appealing.

I came to find out that what I had known as pita was לא בסדר, and not really pita. After coming to Israel I discovered פיתות. Real pita… it’s thick, soft, fluffy, and a bit chewy. It’s amazing!

I found a really good bakery shop in the shuk where we buy whole wheat pita. Other places have it including the local שופרסל, although this place is a LOT better. We bought it in bulk and froze it to have it on hand its so good. Well no more! I now can make my own that is as good as or better than shuk pita.

3 Cups Flour
1 1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Sugar
2 Tsp Yeast
1 1/2 Cups Water (slightly warm)

Mix thoroughly flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Slowly mix in warm water 1/4 cup at a time until slightly gooey but well formed. Kneed on well floured surface for about 10 minutes until springy but still able to stay in a nice ball. Set ball in a bowl and cover. Let dough to rise in a warm area for about 2 hours until its about double in size. I put mine on the top shelf of the kitchen cabinets.

Punch the dough down to release air pockets then break dough up into 8-10 formed balls. Cover with a damp cloth for about 20 minutes to allow dough to relax.


Preheat your oven HOT with a baking stone. I set mine to max with top and bottom burner at 250°C and convection with a pizza stone on the bottom rack.

After dough is relaxed and oven is fully heated, roll balls into 1/8″ – 1/4″ pitas on a floured surface.


Place rolled dough in the oven on the baking stone for about 3 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when its nice and poofy.


These are totally amazing straight out of the oven with fresh hummus.


Next I’ll need to try my hand at Falafel and סחוג to complete the experience!

Update: I did try falafel! It’s really good and not so hard to make.

Hummus! (חומוס)

2 Cup dry Chickpeas
1/2 Cup Tahini
1/2 Cup Lemon Juice
1/2 – 1 Large Garlic Minced
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tsp Cumin

Soak chickpeas overnight in cold water. The next day boil then simmer chick peas in fresh water for about 1-2 hours until soft.

Blend tahini and lemmon juice until whipped, then blend in minced garlic, olive oil, cumin, and salt. Blend in chickpeas and chickpea water until you get your desired consistency.

Spread on a plate, sprinkle paprika, and drizzle olive oil on top.