Traditional Falafel Sandwich

Today I’m going back to one of my favorite dishes, the classic, crispy, herbaceous falafel! My version is jam packed with cilantro, parsley, garlic and cumin to balance the bright herbs with the earthy spices and chickpeas. I also toss together a quick tomato and cucumber salad to bring some crunch to the party!

Traditional Falafel Sandwich

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 day 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 30 falafel


For the Falafel

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas
  • 1 cup parsley leaves and tender stems well packed
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems well packed
  • 1 small onion roughly chopped (about ¾ cup)
  • 8 medium garlic cloves peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon whole cumin seed toasted and ground
  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander seed toasted and ground
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

For the Tomato Cucumber Salad

  • 4 small Campari or Roma tomatoes chopped
  • 2 Persian or Kirby cucumbers chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sumac
  • ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Sandwich

  • 5 pita halved
  • Tahini sauce
  • Sumac for garnish
  • Lebanese pickles sliced
  • Zhoug or hot sauce for serving


  • In a large mixing bowl, add chickpeas and cover with cold water, at least 4 inches above the beans. Soak chickpeas for 24 hours, then drain and rinse.
  • In the bowl of a large food processor, add herbs, chickpeas, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, Aleppo, salt and pepper. Pulse in 30 second increments, scraping down with a spatula as needed. Once the chickpeas are the size of couscous and the herbs are finely chopped, transfer to a large bowl, cover and allow to sit for at least an hour and overnight.
  • Remove from the refrigerator and add baking powder. Gently mix in and set aside.
  • In a Dutch oven, add 3 inches of oil and preheat to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels, set aside.
  • Using a falafel press or a 2 tablespoon scoop, drop in 4-6 falafel and fry for 3-5 minutes, or until deeply golden brown. Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer falafel to baking sheet and season with salt. Repeat until all falafel have been fried.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, add all tomato cucumber salad ingredients and stir to combine. Set aside until ready to assemble.
  • To assemble, add 2-3 falafel to each half of pita, tomato cucumber salad, pickles and hot sauce, if desired. Serve immediately.
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