Recipe: Falafels in a Pita

Even the non-vegetarians in the group will enjoy these crunchy, tasty Middle Eastern mouthfuls nestled in pitas.

Serves: 6
Course: Lunch


  • 1/2 small onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp ground cumin (5 ml)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (2 ml)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (15 ml)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt (2 ml)
  • 1 19-oz (540-ml) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 2 tbsp water (30 ml)
  • 2 tbsp water (30 ml)
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour or chickpea flour (60 ml)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (60 ml)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (125 ml)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil (60–125 ml)
  • 6 whole-wheat pitas
  • 1 cup tzatziki, or lemon-flavoured tahini sauce (250 ml)
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce (250 ml)
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced


In a food processor, finely chop onion and garlic with cumin, cayenne, lemon juice, and salt. Add chickpeas and water. Process until smooth.

With motor running, add flour until combined. Add parsley and pulse until just combined.

Form mixture into 24 small balls, about 1 tbsp (15 ml) each. Coat each ball on all sides in bread crumbs. Set aside in refrigerator until needed. May be frozen for up to 1 month.

Heat 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Place 4–6 falafels in pan. Gently flatten slightly with spatula. Cook for 3–5 minutes or until golden. Turn over and continue to cook for an additional 3–5 minutes. Set aside on platter lined with paper towel. Repeat until all falafels are cooked, adding more oil as needed.

Slice across top of each pita and gently open to make a pocket. Stuff each with tzatziki, or lemon tahini sauce, lettuce, tomato, and 4 falafels.


– Chickpea flour, also known as gram flour or besan, is a staple of Indian cooking. You can usually find it in the international section of grocery stores.