I like Middle Eastern foods, especially falafel served in a pita. We don't have it often, but I've always wanted to be able to make it but the recipes always sound so difficult. Recently, I saw a cooking show that featured falafel and it looked easy enough that I decided to try it for this week's Meatless Monday dish.  I'm so glad I did!

I started by cooking my own chick peas from dry beans. They are so much better than canned, but you could also used canned if you don't want to take the time to cook them.  They do take quite a while to cook. The mixture is filled with spices and herbs, lemon juice, and sauteed red pepper and onion.  Once the dough has chilled to set up a bit, it's dropped into hot oil and you make it into little football shapes something like a fritter.  It's then place in a pita pocket or I used flat bread, along with a tahini yogurt sauce, cucumber slices and lettuce.  Eat it like a burrito, rolled up with the ingredients inside the bread.

My daughter is a vegetarian and she likes falafel, too, so after we had our dinner, I made a fresh batch for her, made up a falafel roll for her and took it to her.  Later she called and said I now have a standing order for one if I should make it again! I'm sure I'll make it again. It turned out really great, and was not hard to do.  Garbanzo beans are full of wonderful goodness and nutrients and by keeping the oil at the right temperature there is very little absorbed into the fritters so it's also a very healthy meal. Here are a few pictures of what they look like!
Making the little flalfels using two tablespoons to form little football shapes called quinelles

After deep frying...golden brown and crispy

Don't start fying until the oil is at 375 degrees, and don't let it drop below 350 to keep the oil from soaking into the falafel

Wheat flat bread with flax, two lettuce leaves, yogurt tahini sauce, cucumber slices, falafel all rolled up like a burrito. Healthy, vegetarian, and so delicious!!

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