Wednesday, 7 August 2013


Last week. Yes! LAST week. (Boy, I am running behind here.) I decided to make myself falafel pitas for lunch. I had a box of falafel mix that's been hanging around in my pantry since... Actually since I was in a relationship with my Middle-Eastern ex-girlfriend over three years ago! But, don't worry. The mix is sealed and it's basically dried up fava beans with some herbs and spices. That stuff lasts forever. Oh by the way, in case you never heard of falafels, like I just mentioned, they are made of squished fava beans, herbs and spices and are shaped into balls and deep fried in oil. Pretty much any shawarma shish-taouk or Lebanese restaurant serves them. Many people mistake them for meatballs. They are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside and are usually served with a sesame based sauce.

They're super easy to make, especially if you have a deep fryer. I didn't happen to have one so I had to deep fry them in a pot. But, it's just a powdered mix and all you have to do is add water and then bingo! Fry 'em up and eat 'em up. Here's how I did my pita sandwich.


  • 1 box falafel mix.
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • iceberg lettuce, chopped
  • hummus
  • tahini (fancy Arabic word for sesame butter)
  • pickled turnips (the fluorescent pink stuff)
  • pita bread
  • can of stuffed vine leaves aka. dolma.


I already had some chopped up lettuce from doing Subway-style southwest steak n cheese fajita wraps, but if you don't, just take your head of iceberg lettuce, tear all the leaves off and clean them up in one of those salad spinners. Then chop the salad into long strips.

I also had sliced red onions already prepared, but as you can see from the picture of the ingredients, I cut the onion in half then simply sliced it.

The pickled turnips are already cut up. Oh and if you need to know where to find them in Montreal, in the west island, there's Marché Adonis. Downtown Montréal, there's Supermarché P.A. on Fort street between Maisonneuve and Sainte-Catherine. There's also another branch on Avenue du Parc somewhere south of Laurier if I remember.

Anyway, for the falafel mix it is dead simple. Just add water! Literally! Just read the instructions on the box. If you can make a box of Kraft Mac n Cheese, then you have all the experience you need! When you mix it up, start with a whisk. When it turns into a thick paste, use your hands. then shape them into ping-pong ball sized balls.

Then take a large pot and pour in enough grape seed or olive oil so that you have about a quarter inch thick at the bottom. Then heat it up on medium heat until it gets hot.

Add one falafel. If it boils, you know the oil reached the right frying temperature.

Then just add the rest and turn them around until every side is fried and crispy. The colour should turn a dark brown.

You can take one out and cut it to see if it's cooked. It should look something like this.

As you can see, I laid them out on a plate with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil and let them cool off a bit.

I know, I know... they look like horse poop.

Then all you have to do is assemble your sandwich, crack open that can of stuffed vine leaves and eat up! Also, a side tabouleh salad with that would also be a great addition.

To make the sandwich, just open up the pita bread, spread some hummus and a bit of tahini. (Watch out, that stuff has a strong taste. I don't recommend it if you're not used to it.) Then stuff some lettuce, onions, pickled turnips and add a couple of falafels in there. You can crush them a bit if you want a flatter sandwich of if you want to spread the falafels a bit more evenly. Wrap this sucker up in tin foil or wax paper and chow down!