Tuesday, April 14, 2009


This is one of my favorite meals. My family loves it too, even my husband and he is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. Who woulda thought? These vegetarian pita fillers are crunchy and fla-vor-ful. I hate the ones that are served in some restaurants that are so dry and hard. I prefer making falafel patties verses balls, they make a better sandwich that way. The mix should be tender, not wet. If it is too loose to handle, add more bread crumbs or flour.

Frying is not the most healthy forms of cooking, but the crispness it brings to the party is often unreplicateable. For the healthiest pan fry, use clean , coconut, grapeseed or extra light olive oil. These oils can stand up to high temperatures without becoming toxic. Clean oil is important for two reasons; if the oil has been heated and cooled the smoke point has been lowered and the fats have started to oxidize. And if there are foreign particles in the oil these will burn as the oil reaches temperature which imparts bad flavor. Heating the oil to 375 degrees before food touches the pan ensures the steam will push most of the oil away from the food. When the oil is cool, it soaks into the food leaving it greasy. In this case it is fine to cover a wide pan with a quarter inch of oil, just keep the heat on medium high. For most frying applications more oil for cooking = less oil in the food. This is because cold food drops the temperature and the less oil there is to sustain the temperature the lower the temperature drops. Another solution to this is to fry in very small batches.

There is a tool, you can get quite cheaply at hardware stores called and infrared thermometer. This allows you to check the temperature of the surface of a pan, pizza stone, or oil. It is also fun to take it outside in the summer and check the temperature of the sidewalk.

2 cups chickpeas
1 onion, roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 egg
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1 dash fresh ground pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup dry whole grain bread crumbs
refined coconut oil for frying

In a large bowl mash chickpeas until thick and pasty; don't use a blender, as the consistency will be too thin. In a blender, process onion, parsley and garlic until smooth, drain onto paper towel. Stir into mashed chickpeas. In a small bowl combine egg, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, cayenne, lemon juice and baking powder. Stir into chickpea mixture, slowly add bread crumbs until mixture is not sticky but will hold together; add more or less bread crumbs, as needed. Form balls and then flatten into patties. Heat 1 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry patties in hot oil until brown on both sides. Serve in whole wheat pita's with lettuce and cucumber yogurt sauce, or on top of a salad or just a finger food snack (great for toddlers).


  1. im going to try and get the courage to make these soon.
    i LOOOOVe them!! and i love your recipe too.
    the time that we were at your house and you made the pitas to go with them---that was a real treat. it inspired me to buy a pizza stone. i finally bought one over much agony about the price. and its only the second or third time i have used it and it cracked right in half last night!!! im so sad. i wish there was an invention like the pizza stone that would never crack :( boo hoo .
    what kind of pizza stone do you have? maybe that is the one i should try.

  2. I have had my stone for 5 years with no problems. I actually got a second one a couple years ago for cooking pizzas for a crowd. I have the 14 by 16 inch ones from Old Stone Oven. They are great.


  3. Kara,

    I made these the other day with your cucumber yogurt sauce and they turned out wonderfully! This is my new "go to" recipe! I love mediterranean food. I have a great recipe for a Greek salad made with bulgar, veggies, spices, lettuce, and feta cheese.... if your interested :)


  4. Most of the family loved the Falafel and tzatki. For some reason the pitas didnt turn out for me. Bummer! On to the next recipe. Still working out the kinks in the keifer and yogurt.

  5. The pitas have to be rolled to the right thickness -- almost 1/2 inch and flipped at the right time --flip after the first 30 seconds, cook on side 2 until it is half way puffed and back to side one for it to finish puffing. I should do a class on them, because they are so delicious and easy once you see it done.

  6. Oh man, these are so fantastic! We had to make a double batch--after we had almost finished the first round my husband went into the kitchen and started making them himself. These are a new family favorite, and your cucumber yogurt sauce is SO perfect with them. We were really blissed-out.

  7. 2 years later these are still one of our favorite meals. I do a quadruple batch and freeze them. The patties make great snacks and are perfect for the lunch box. Often I just crumble them on top of lettuce dressed with cucumber yogurt sauce. Thanks April, for commenting after you try recipes. Especially love the rainbows in this one!!


It's rude to eat and run. Humor me with conversation please!

Related Posts with Thumbnails