02 April, 2007

Falafel with Hummus and Pita Bread

What do you do when you have some tins of cooked chickpeas in your pantry since last few weeks and waiting for their turn? Well... I did what I usually do most of the times and that is Googling:) I was bombarded with so many options which made it quite difficult to choose the recipe. Then it showed something which I haven’t had in a long time, Falafel. First time I had falafel was in Bangalore during some food festival. It was crispy deep fried balls of seasoned ground chickpea in a soft, chewy pita along with some fresh vegetables. I must confess that falafel is not among my favorite middle eastern cuisine but it is something which I love to have once in blue moon days when my “experimenting” genes are active and kicking.

So after clicking and browsing many recipes I ended up making Falafel with ingredients I had in our pantry and according to our preference. I made some Hummus with homemade Tahini. This is my contribution to Meeta's Monthly Mingle which for me luckily happened to be Arabian Nights. Thanks to Asha and Sharmi for the info;)

Falafel with Hummus and Pita Bread

Tahini (or "tehina"/"thina" in Arabic and Hebrew, "tahin" in Turkish, French, Dutch and Danish) is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. It is a major ingredient in hummus and other dishes from the Middle East. Tahini comes in two varieties — 'hulled' and 'unhulled'. Both types are relatively high in vitamins and proteins. Unhulled tahini is quite bitter but has a much higher proportion of vitamins, calcium, and protein because the sesame seeds are ground whole.


Prep Time: -
Cooking time: 5-10 mins
Serves: -
1 cup Sesame Seeds
3-4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil/Vegetable Oil

Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Spread the sesame seeds on a shallow baking tray and bake, shaking frequently, until fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Make sure that you do not brown.
You can also use pan for dry roasting sesame seeds.
Cool the sesame seeds and put them a blender or food processor.
Add the olive oil or vegetable oil and process to a smooth paste.
Add more oil if necessary, to bring the paste to a thick pouring consistency.
Keep it stored in a tightly covered jar in the refrigerator for several months.

Falafel with Hummus and Pita Bread

Hummus or more precisely hummus bi tahini (Arabic: حُمُّص‎; Armenian համոս hamos; also spelled houmous, hommus, hummous or humus) is a dip made of ground chickpeas, tahini (sesame seed paste), lemon juice, and garlic, and often olive oil and paprika.
In Arabic the word hummus is used to describe the dish or just chickpeas on their own. The full name of the dish is Arabic: حُمُّص بطحينة‎ hummus bi tahina 'chickpeas with tahini'.


Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking time: -
Serves: 4-6
1 cup Canned Chickpeas
2 tbsp Lemon Juice (Acc to taste)
1-2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tbsp Tahini/ ½ tbsp Sesame Oil
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Paprika
Salt to taste

Falafel with Hummus

Drain the chickpeas and rinse.
Combine the chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt, tahini, and water in a food processor, and whiz to a creamy purée.
Add more lemon juice, garlic, cumin or salt to taste.
Serve it drizzled with extra virgin olive oil with pita bread, warmed in a moderate oven for three minutes, and cut into quarters.

Falafel with Hummus

Falafel ( Arabic: فلافل‎ falaafil, Hebrew: פלאפל‎) , also known in Egypt and Sudan as ta'meya (طعمية) is a fried ball or patty made from spiced fava beans and/or chickpeas. Originally invented by Egyptian bedouins, it has become a highly popular form of fast food in the Levant and in the Mashriq (Arab East), where it is also served as a mezze (snack). The word "falafel" is the plural of the Arabic word فلفل (filfil), meaning pepper.


Prep Time: 10-15 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Serves: 4-6
1 can of Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans, drained
1 Onion
½ cup Parsley, stems off(Use Coriander Leaves if you dont have Parsley)
1-2 Garlic
2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Ground Coriander
1 tsp Cayenne (Red) Pepper
1-2 tbsp Lemon Juice
½ tsp Baking Powder
1-2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 cup Dried Bread Crumbs
Salt and black Pepper to taste
Olive Oil for Frying

Falafel with Hummus

Mash up your chickpeas using the back of a large spoon or a masher.
In a food processor, pulse the onion, garlic and parsley coarsely.
Spoon this mixture into mashed chickpeas and mix well.
Now add cumin, peppers, salt, baking powder and lemon juice and mix well.
Add the tablespoon of olive oil and keep stirring.
Put in the bread crumbs, not all at once but very slowly, stirring all the time. Increase or decrease the breadcrumbs to make sure that the entire mixture is somewhat dense and will make patties easily.
If you are making your falafels in a pan (like I did), make small lime sized balls and flatten them for easy cooking and shallow fry them till they turn brown and crisp.
You can also deep fry them by making lime sized balls and deep fry in medium flame till they turn golden brown.
Serve them hot with Hummus, Tahini or with Pita breads.

Falafel with Hummus

Although I used canned chickpeas for falafel, one of my reader was right at pointing out its a wrong way to make falafel. Use dried chickpeas which are soaked in water for over night and make Falafel. As I was short of time, I used canned chickpeas here instead of soaked ones and I recommend the soaked ones to canned chickpeas while making Falafel and Hummus.

Check out:
Jai and Bee of Jugalbandi's recipe for homemade Whole Wheat Pita Breads.
Asha of Foodie's Hope's recipe for Falafal and Tahini here.


  1. Thanks for the hummus recipe. I've been looking for a good one for some time and yours seem right on the money. Will give it a try and let you know.

  2. Are you still enjoying life at home ? You always have to cook up something wonderful right :)

  3. wow, sia. good stuff. we prepared the same thing. will post about them soon.

  4. Hi Sia, The Falafel looks so vibrant and colorful. Nice entry!!

  5. Sia ,You are posting some of the most delightful recipes.Falafel at the Bangalore Malls are great,but not as temptingly delicious & colourful as yours.Thanks for posting.:)

  6. hey ,me too have posted a chole dish....:)

  7. I just love Falafels especially with that tangy Indian Falafel sauce and some sriracha sauce! yum..but you know what, I don't stuff the fritters in the pita....I just crumble everything up and eat it like a salad..even the bread..tastes awesome.


  8. Hey Sia..
    i didnt have my breakfast yet and your falafel are making me feel the teenie weenie bit of hunger lingering in my tummy, in an exaggerated fashion... hope i dont go straight to my cookie shelf now!!

  9. wow !!!! Everything looks so delicious. I want to take a bite from the falafel dipped in hummus.Anyways thanks for the elaborated explanation of the Arabic dish. And thanks a lot for the wonderful recipes too.

  10. @cynthia,
    glad this will be helpful for u lady:) do let me know how u like it.

    my last day sandeepa:( starting work from tomorrow.

    will wait for ur recipe bee. wanted to make ur pita bread too but there was no time left after making falafell n hummus n tahini:)

  11. @sharmi,
    thanks lady:) entry for what?

    see who is talking:) which place do u suggest for the best mid-eastern cuisine in b'lore?
    will check ur chole recipe now. i made it twice already. i used my amma's n trupti's recipe for chole n asha's recipe for bhature:) they were just yum yum... next time its gonna be urs then:)

  12. @trupti,
    indian falafel sauce? now thats someting i would love to try. do u get them in indian stores or any supermarkets? i will check them next time when i go for shopping.

    ha ha ha... teenie weenie bit of hunger? go n grab something healthy girl:)

    welcome to spice corner:) whats wikipedia is for?;)
    by the way do u have ur blog coz i cant find ur url here.

  13. Sia, that was yummy :).
    i made falafels last week-will try your recipe sometime soon.The pictures as usual are delish.

    I would also be interested in knowing about the Indian falafel sauce-never heard of it before.have seen Tahini and some sauces in Indian stores, but they ar all Middle Eastern. Sriracha sauce, someone in a mirchi fan :).

  14. Okay,not first this time!;D

    WOW!! Arabic letters and everything.Cool.I love the Falafel,Tahini makes it even more tastier.Look great Sia.You have been frying forever now!!

    You could send this to Meeta,you know,deadline is 11th!
    Have you abandoned my Aroma?;D

  15. Ahh..u have given out a full plate of appetizer :)falafel and tahini and hummus are my favs but this flattened ones, i have never seen...hmm..i should try making these at home...so many in the "to cook" list these days:)
    Btw, who's talking about getting training from me, look at that design on the hummus and also those pepper fingers !!


  16. I too tried falafel once , I made it like balls and it was so nice. Your looks so colorful. Nice Entry Sia.

  17. Hi Sia,

    I love Falafel, I will try this recpie, thanks for sharing :)

  18. I love falafel.....and as always your presentation is beautiful...Falafel with Hummus looks Delicious..

    I saw the falafel recipe on Asha's post few months back and now on your blog...it seems its the right time to cook them at home...

  19. That hummus looks thick and rich, yummy!! Hey, I didn't know you were so fluent in Arabic! :)

    I did have a chickpea-related plan this weekend, but didn't carry it out in the end. It's an Italian street snack called "panelle". Made it years ago but couldn't remember if I liked it, so maybe another day..

  20. The falafel and hummus looks yummy! My husband and I love middle eastern food, but it has been a while we have eaten any.

  21. Falafel and hummus looks delicious.
    we try mediterranean food and love hummus.Have not tried falafel so far.

  22. wow sia

    i haven't tried this before, But looking at the picture definately will give it a try!

    Thumba chenagi present madidiya!

  23. Hi Sups,

    Falafel looks awesome,asusual wonderful presentation, which itself tempts us alot....

    First i got to know about it in Ashaji's blog only, then recently we went to mid-east res, where i had it,i liked it very much...it was served as round balls...
    Thanks for sharing dear..How is your new job?

  24. hey sia,
    arabic words and all, cool stuff!
    when we get together with cousins we make this pretty often, we like ours HOT and have it with garlic sauce as well.
    thanks for ur recipe

  25. Falafel with hummus is new to me . I have heard abt this but didn't have a chance to taste this.Looks inviting.
    BTW did u notice the yellowish orange colour in most of ur recipes...looks lovely.

  26. Lovely combination, Supriya! I love homemade hummus -- have not ventured into homemade falafel and pita bread though. You even made your own tahini! I love the hummus fresh from grinding while it's still warm. Will have to try with fresh homemade tahini sometime, too. Thanks :)

  27. Here in almost all the cafeteria's these things are available,but I never tried that at home..Thanks for sharing the recipe..

  28. Wow, so much info and nice recipes. Falafel is so delicious snack in Middle east. Viji

  29. @musical,
    i am not a big fan of falafel:) r u gonna post ur recipe for us?
    never seen any falafel indian sauce though. trupti did mention something abt it. will have to look out for that.

    thanks to wikipedia for detailed info;)
    i saw ur falafel recipe while posting this. should have checked ur blog staright away while googling:) u have got loads of recipes there:)
    by the way, i am at my new office now:) my 1st day here:)

    i went for pan fry instead of deep frying. so had to flatten them:)

  30. @jasu,
    i didn't deep fry them jasu. thats why i have flat falafels;)

    do let me know how u like them:) have u tried making them at home before?

    thank u lady:) i checked ashakka's recipe while posting this. should have checked it before only coa it took me quite some time to go through many recipes and try this out.

  31. @shilpa,
    me n fluent in arabic? naw... its copy paste from wiki. i have given a link there:)
    now i am all ears for ur panelle recipe. have u posted it in ur blog already? i am veryyyyyyyyy novice when it comes to italian cooking. ur blog is a gr8 place for that.

    oh do u? do share some middle eastern recipes with us. i haven't tried much of mid easten food.

  32. @pravs,
    thanks girl. have u checked asha's blog for falafel recipe? now u have 2 recipes for falafel:)

    picture noodi try madbedi;) try it only if u like chickpeas:) i must confess that they r not my fav ones but my hubby loves them.

    he he he... i am glad that u liked the presentation:)
    falafel is usually served as round balls stuffed between pita bread. but i went for tawa frying instead of deep frying. thats why i have flat falafels:)
    today is my first day in office n just induction is going on:) u must have come to know by now what i am doing rt now;)

  33. @richa,
    its from wikipedia richa. guess i made u all think i am quite fluent in arabic;)
    with garlic sauce? now u have my attention:)

    that yellowish orange colour is due to artificial lighting prema. i usually take pics in the eve when i dont get any natural light.

    the recipe for hummus n tahini sounded very simple. why buying from home when u can make them fresh and quickly at home? :)

  34. @kitchenfairy,
    try at home n let me know if they r better(or worst;) than the ones in cafeteria:)

    thank u lady:) do u have any other recipe for making them at home?

  35. Hi Sia! Even I don't get excited by falafel. Your pix r gorgeous, though, and I love how you arranged your peppers in a little fan in one of the photos!

  36. Hey Supriya...yeah, the Falafel sauce is available at Indian stores, get the Laxmi or Nirav Brand....or whatever you can find actually...it is usually stacked amongst the small pani puri and ready made chutney bottles...will post a picture when I make my Falafels....

    you back at work now?


  37. Oh here comes another fav recipe of ours Suppi. NY li vondu kade best falafel sikkuttu...the best falafel I have ever had and they have their own homemade chutney kind of sauce that they serve...volle karakke best irthu adu. Looks like a lot of deep frying going on these days at your place.. hee hee

  38. I didn't check ur blog yest..And thr u r with a wonderful,colorful dish..And here am I, wishing I could have it and writing a "36th" comment on ur blog:(..I wish I was 1st:)
    Neways, amazing dish and presentation..Finally, u r not stuffing anything:)..Btw, r u sending this to Meeta for the MM event?I think it's a perfect entry..
    All the very best to you for the new job!

  39. Those falafels have such a pretty color.

  40. oh sorry yarr!! I thought this is perfect for Meeta's MM. so thought you were contributing. sorry again.


  41. I love falafel's. Back in CA we use to go to small dhaba kind of place, he makes amazing falafels and pita chips (fresh). Picture and recipe looks great.

  42. I love hummus with pita! We have a lovely mediterranean restaurant here that serves awesome hummus and falafels. Never attempted to make these at home! Maybe i will just have to try it now :-)
    Lovely pictures!

  43. hi supriya, no i haven't made the panelle yet, but if it's of any help, i learned how to make it by googling! :) in fact, i google often for recipes, so you can do it, too!

  44. HEY!!! I made the same!!!! Will be posting it soon..... The pics look fab!!!

  45. @sra,
    i guess we r he only ones who are not very fond of falafels:) thats red banana pepper n carrot fingers:)

    thank u sweetie for the info. will check out for that sauce and also gonna buy that achari masala. rt now i am @office n listening to RS from ur blog and mine:) 2nd day in my office n got so much to learn n do... ufff.... hugs to u too:)

    then u dont need to make it at home:) enage idu ashtu ishta ille. this one is not deep fried. just pan fried. cant take so much of oil;)

  46. @swapna,
    he he he... i would have gladly parcelled u some as i am not very fond of falafel. cant assure about the rest though;)
    yup, asha n sharmi reminded me of MM. or else i would have completely forgotten abt it:)
    and thank u for ur wishes.

    thank u and a warm welcome to spice corner:)

    thanks sweetie. i had almost forgotten abt it. now coz of u n ashakka i am sending it for MM:)

  47. @shivapriya,
    dhaba kindo f place in CA? now thats interesting. nothing like punjabi dhaba food!!! god!!! its almost lunch time for me n i am going crazy:)

    i am looking for some arabic restaurant here. lucky u to have found good place for yummy food:)

    google...our best friend;) i brought one good veg cooking book yesterday. its got very good collection of recipes. right now i am totally confused as what to cook from it. will try something soon n post it if it turns out good:)

    did u? we do think alike. will look out for ur version. by the way, r u gonna tell me next to next month's MBP theme;) he hehe...

  48. Hi Sia,

    Just came across your site today and must say I am hooked on to the appetizing pictures put up by you and not forgetting the wonderful music which is playing at the background ! Pure instrumental with beautiful beats.

  49. Sia, Falafels are always welcome, favorite mideastern dish.

  50. @shri,
    let me give u a warm welcome to spice corner:) i am glad to get ur feedback and thank u very much for ur kind words. even i am hooked to Rahul sharma's Santoor. all creadit goes to my dear friend trupti:)

    aww ISG. u should have told me that before. i would have parcelled some to ur door step:)

  51. Gorgeous pictures Sia! Your husband is one lucky guy.

  52. Mmmmm looks lovely.

    I ate hummus in a pub recently and it was so bad, I had to ask the chef whether he knew what Tahini was!!

  53. I love hummus. I have a post waiting to go up on this too. I guess we all like to eat similar things! Great falafel recepe, and the stuffed chillies look wicked.

  54. @KA,
    i keep reminding him that;)

    oh...sorry to know that. i guess it differes from country to country. he he he... did he knew what tahini was? i stick to burgers at pubs cox thats the only best thing i got to eat in most of the pubs here:)

    thanks lady. i will wait for u to post ur hummus recipe. there r so many different recipes to make it and i was otally confused as which one to follow:)

  55. It all looks great, but I got to protest about the idea of making falafel from cooked chickpeas. This is all wrong! You should use dried chickpea, soak it for a night, make the burgers then deep-fry them. This way you get the right taste and texture.

  56. @shooky,
    i too totally agree with u. i made this falafel at the last moment where i didn't have any soaked chickpeas. so next time when i make falafel i am surely gonna soak dried chickpeas n make. thank u shooky for pointing this out:)

  57. This may not be such a good combo from a health-perspective. Canned chickpeas in both the dip and the snack could be overwhelming and could cause a lot of intestinal gas.

  58. Made Hummus and Tahini from your recipe and we all loved it My DH and lil one gobbled it with some baked pita chips. Delicious and nutritious !!!


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