Our slimmed down Cooking Light version paled in comparison to those traditional messy Middle Eastern meals with tahini-soaked cabbage, tongue-tingling sauce piquante and crispy dark brown falafel balls, all wrapped in a thick warm pita bread. I can imagine the tahini trickling down my wrist now…

So if you’re craving street food at home, the CL recipe has great flavor. On the surface it looks putzy and difficult; somewhat true. It’s intuitively easy but a bit time-consuming for a simple lunch. If you want to do it in segments, the sauce and even falafel could be made a day in advance and popped in the refrigerator [up to either the point of blitzing all the ingredients together or forming the patties and rolling in bread crumbs]. Even though I cooked them the same day I made them, I let the blitzed falafel ingredients sit in a bowl to set before attempting to form the patties — the ‘dough’ is really, really sticky.

One more recommendation would be make smaller, thinner [maybe 1/4″ instead of 1/2″] patties so they fry up nicer.


Though if you stick with the thicker patties, they might do better if you start at a higher heat to brown each side, then lower it and cover the pan to cook the patties all the way through. This is my second time using the recipe and I much prefer the method I just described for larger patties.

To spice things up I made Rachael Ray’s Tomato Cucumber Salad with Lemon Honey Poppyseed Dressing for topping instead of plain tomato and cuke.