During my birthright trip in Israel last summer, I was able to eat some Israeli-made falafels. Unfortunately, none of them were that incredible, but of course, being with such a big group made it hard to really find the local’s favorite falafel spots. While I was up in Maryland last month, I used one of my favorite websites (yelp) to find the highest-rated falafel of the area, which ended up being this place: http://www.falafelshop.com/ in Washington DC. And holy crap, how absolutely delicious! They have a huge line of garnishes to stuff your falafel with, and stuff-it I did.. and I was too stuffed myself to even finish my falafel. Too bad DC is 3,000 miles away.. but I’ll be up there again in December and won’t hesitate to stop by Amsterdam Falafelshop, though this time I will order the smallest falafel. I also liked that they had a choice of either a wheat or white pita.

Today, I decided to make my own. I bought some falafel ball mix for a few reasons: I knew I would have a lot of work to get all the sauces and veggies ready, things would be messy enough without making falafel balls from scratch, and that I didn’t want to make such a damn mess when only serving two people.

So, I used about 1 cup of the falafel mix that I got from the local market and 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp water. The directions said to mix and let stand for 15 minutes, so that’s when I decided to shred some lettuce, onion, fresh tomato and cucumber from the urban farm (from yesterday), and garlic.

IMG_3372

On another plate, I chopped up a small pickle and pickled hot peppers, spooned some locally-bought tzatziki sauce (from when we made zucchini fritters), and made a mix of sour cream, spices, and hot sauce.

After doing all that, it ended up that the falafel mix really sat for twice as long as I had intended, and perhaps that is why they didn’t seem to stick together very well when I formed them into flat balls. I hesitated about using a lot of oil (coconut oil + sunflower oil) for the pan, so I let Cameron do it instead, while I took some photos. The falafels had a hard time staying in their formed shapes in the pan, and started to break apart which I noticed when Cameron announced the “falafel fail”.

IMG_3373

It was time to heat up the pita breads that I had bought, which were the Ezekiel brand of sprouted pocket breads. I didn’t realize how thin they were until I took them out of the packaging and tried to slice open the seam to create the pockets. They were too thin to fill. Cameron folded his over, and I just made a salad out of the falafel balls and garnishes instead.

IMG_3375

The falafels tasted more like they were breaded and they were a bit more dry than I would have liked, but overall, everything tasted alright for my first time at falafel-making.

Next time I make falafels: thicker pita pocket breads, made-from-scratch falafel balls and tzatziki sauce, and more people to enjoy it all!

Advertisements