Falafel Pita Sandwich

August 1, 2021mayurisjikoni

EVENT: SUNDAY FUNDAY

THEME: SANDWICHES

RECIPE: FALAFEL PITA SANDWICH

Falafel Pita Sandwich is a quintessential sandwich from the Middle Eastern Cuisine. Falafel along with tomato, cucumber, salad are stuffed in pita pockets and served with either hummus or tahini sauce. Though is has many components or ingredients it is quite easy to put this sandwich together. These days it is easy to find pita bread, falafel, hummus or tahini in most supermarkets.

What is a Sandwich?

Sandwich is a food item whereby cheese, meat, other fillings are placed between two slices of bread. Having said that, these days sandwiches don’t necessarily come between two slices of bread. One can use wraps, buns, rotis, naans, pita, basically any kind of bread. Fillings vary from vegetables, cheese, meat, fish to even leftover food.

 

Some of My Favourite Sandwiches

My all time favourites and must haves are actually two.. in two different countries. One is Bombay Sandwich which is sold in Santa Cruz (W) just outside Friendship Shop. Loaded with chutneys, sliced potatoes, cucumber, tomato and cheese it is one sandwich you have to try out if you’re ever in Mumbai.

The second one is Egg and Cress Sandwich from Marks and Spencer in UK. Yes my family thinks I’m crazy as I always have on whenever I’m in London! Was it the whole experience of actually being able to buy ready made sandwich which I experienced many years ago or just the fact that it tastes good… don’t know!

When it comes to homemade sandwiches the all time favourite is Vegetable Masala Sandwich. Peas, potatoes, carrots are cooked with spices and onion. The filling is then stuffed between two slices of bread and grilled. Here we don’t use any electrical grill or sandwich maker but a traditional Indian toaster which in Gujarati is called a ‘Chumcho’.

My other favourite is Paneer Chutney Sandwich which I love enjoying as a light meal or for breakfast.

 

 

Origins Of Sandwich?

The word sandwich may have originated from a story about John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich. It is believed that around 1762, he asked his cook to prepare him a meal which could be consumed during his 24 hour gambling session without him using a fork and knife and the cards becoming greasy. The cook served a piece of meat between two slices of bread. Pretty soon others started ordering ‘A Sandwich’. But history says that sandwiches existed way before the Earl of Sandwich or rather his cook made them popular. The Jewish sage Hillel the Elder would wrap meat with bitter herb in a soft matzah, a soft unleavened bread during Passover.

Pita Bread/ Pita Pockets

Generally the pita bread we get at the local supermarket in Mombasa is made from plain flour and usually is stale. Therefore, I prefer to bake my own. Leftover pita bread is then baked till it becomes crispy and used as pita chips with a dip or added to a salad. I usually make them using whole wheat flour and little plain flour. Sometimes I make Sourdough Pita BreadMaking Sourdough Pita Bread requires a bit of planning as the sourdough starter needs to be fed.

If you’re making pita bread at home, the amount of water required for the dough will depend entirely on the flours used. Some flours have a tendency to soak in more liquid than others.

Falafel 

While I’ve used ready made falafel in Canada and UK, it is a task getting ready made falafel in Mombasa. So, I prepare them at home. Making falafel at home is not difficult at all. You just need to remember to soak the chickpeas overnight or at least for 6-8 hours. Here, you cannot use cooked, canned, tinned chickpeas to make the falafel.

When I make falafel for pita sandwich, I prefer to flatten the pattis rather than roll them into balls. So much easier to stuff into the pita pocket.

On occasions I have used various dal bhajias instead of falafel. Usually when I make Vatidar Na Bhajia, I make an extra batch so the following day I can use them to prepare pita sandwich. You have to try it with the coconut mango chutney…it is simply delicious.

Hummus or Tahini 

Use whichever you prefer. I like to use different kinds of hummus, sometimes, plain, sometimes an avocado or spinach one. Or it can be a Mango Sriracha Hummus or Cashew Nut Hummus.

Salad

I usually like to keep the salad filling simple, some salad leaves, sliced tomatoes and cucumber. Occasionally,  I use Coleslaw. But make sure that it does not have too much dressing or the pita bread will go soggy.

Sunday Funday

Sunday Funday is a group of Food Bloggers. Every Sunday we  share some fun, traditional, hearty or easy recipes to make Sunday Family Meals a bit more exciting. To join this fun group, visit the Sunday Funday Facebook Page. Request to join in.

Theme: Sandwiches

For this week Wendy who blogs at A Day in the Life on the Farm suggested we share sandwich recipes to celebrate National Sandwich Month. In fact August is the National Sandwich Month. In 1952, the Wheat Flour Institute (US) dedicated August as National Sandwich Month. Newspapers across the country filled their pages with sandwich recipes fit for the Earl of Sandwich and picnics alike. The annual observance continues today.

Check the Sandwiches Fellow Members Have Made To Celebrate National Sandwich Month:

 

 

FALAFEL PITA SANDWICH

mayurisjikoni
Falafel Pita Sandwich is a quintessential sandwich from the Middle Eastern Cuisine. Falafel along with tomato, cucumber, salad are stuffed in pita pockets and served with either hummus or tahini sauce.
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
RESTING/ SOAKING TIME 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 35 mins
Course Light Meal, Snack
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

FOR THE WHOLEWHEAT PITA BREAD:

  • cups wheat flour atta
  • 1 cup plain flour all purpose flour
  • 1-1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp instant dry active yeast
  • 1- 1¼ cups warm water
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • extra flour for dusting

FOR THE FALAFEL:

  • 1 cup chickpeas dried
  • 1 small onion peeled and chopped roughly
  • 4-6 cloves garlic peeled
  • ¼ cup coriander chopped
  • ¼ cup mint chopped
  • ¼ tsp soda bicarbonate baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp coarse pepper powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • ½ -1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • oil for deep frying

FOR THE SPINACH HUMMUS:

  • 1 cup chickpeas cooked
  • 1 cup spinach roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds roasted
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 10-12 mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2-4 tbsp olive oil

FOR THE SALAD FILLING:

  • 1 medium English Cucumber sliced
  • 1-2 large tomatoes sliced
  • 2 handfuls salad leaves
  • 1 cup spring onion chopped

Instructions
 

PREPARATION OF WHOLEWHEAT PITA BREAD:

  • Sieve both the flours with salt.
  • Add sugar and yeast and mix.
  • Add oil and rub into the flour.
  • Make a dough using the warm water.
  • Knead the dough for 10 minutes till it is smooth.
  • Form a ball, smear oil over it and put in a greased bowl. Cover with cling film and let it rise till its double the size. This will take about 1½ hours.
  • Punch the dough down gently. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  • Divide the dough into 8-10 parts.
  • Roll each part using flour into an oval shape, approx. 4" X 6" and about ¼ of an inch thick.
  • Place the rolled pita on a greased baking tray. Rest the rolled pita for 5 minutes.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • In between turn them over. They should puff up.
  • After 10 minutes remove from the oven.
  • Bake the remaining pita if any are left.
  • Cover the pita bread with a cloth till required.
  • If you like you can cook the rolled pita bread on a griddle pan instead of the oven.
  • Cook till bubbles appear on the bread and then flip it over. It does puff up on its own.

PREPARATION OF FALAFEL:

  • Soak chickpeas for the falafel overnight or for 6 hours in warm water.
  • Drain out the water using a sieve or colander.
  • Wash the chickpeas under running water.
  • Process the chickpeas in a food processor along with chopped coriander, mint, garlic, onion to get a coarse batter or mixture.
  • Add salt, baking soda, pepper, cayenne, cumin, coriander powders, sesame seeds.
  • Mix the batter well.
  • Divide the batter or mixture into 12-14 parts.
  • Shape the falafel into balls or discs. I prefer flattened discs as it makes it easier to stuff them into the pita bread.
  • Heat the oil for frying over medium heat.
  • To test if the oil is hot, drop a small piece of batter in the oil. If it comes up immediately then the oil is ready.
  • Deep fry the falafel, turning them over frequently with a slotted or spider spoon. Fry them till they become golden brown in colour.
  • Repeat with the remaining falafel.

PREPARATION OF SPINACH HUMMUS

  • Process all the ingredients in a food processor or liquidizer.
  • Remove into a serving bowl.
  • Top with extra olive oil If you wish.

TO SERVE:

  • Warm the pita bread on both sides under a hot grill or a griddle pan.
  • Cut into half.
  • Smear the inside of the pita pockets with hummus.
  • Arrange tomato and cucumber slices in the pocket.
  • Add a falafel.
  • Top with salad leaves and chopped spring onion.
  • Serve falafel pita sandwich with extra hummus on the side

Notes

  • Add green chilli to hummus if you like.
  • If you get tahini sauce add that to the hummus instead of sesame seeds.
     Keep the pita bread wrapped in a cloth and in a closed container as they tend to get dry.
  • To make plain hummus, omit adding spinach leaves.
  • Deep fry the falafel just before you want to serve the sandwich. Or you can deep fry them and warm them up in the oven before serving.
  • Can use ready made pita bread and falafel if you wish.
  • Cut leftover pita bread into smaller pieces and bake at 150C till they become crispy. Enjoy pita chips with your favourite dip.
Keyword falafel pita sandwich, homemade falafel sandwich

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A little request:

If you do try this recipe then please either

  • add a comment below,
  • send a picture to my email mayuri.ajay.patel62@gmail.com
  •  tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962

 

 

42 Comments

  • Nisa@flavour diary

    May 4, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    Dee they look just like store bought..you made it perfectly

  • Mayuri Patel

    May 4, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Thanks Nisa.I love to bake them at home,as store ones have preservatives.When my kids were at home, we didn't get them in the stores here so had to bake them at home.

    1. Avin Kohli

      August 16, 2021 at 6:17 am

      5 stars
      One of my fav lebanese cuisine recipe. Your recipe is simple and straightforward. Lovely.

  • Shobha

    May 4, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    Yummy feast with whole wheat pitas..quite filling too.

  • Nayna Kanabar

    May 5, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    Nothing beats home made pitta pockets. These look soft and fluffy. Perfect!!!

  • Mayuri Patel

    May 6, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    Thanks Shobha and yes they are filling. Great idea for lunch or dinner.

  • Mayuri Patel

    May 6, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    Thanks Nayna.

  • Wendy Klik

    August 1, 2021 at 1:46 pm

    Our daughter and her husband love falafel. I’m going to surprise them with this sandwich. Thanks Mayuri.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 2, 2021 at 10:23 pm

      Thanks Wendy and hope they enjoy the sandwich.

  • Karen @Karen’s Kitchen Stories

    August 1, 2021 at 9:08 pm

    I’ve always wanted to make my own falafel from scratch. Yours looks amazing.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 2, 2021 at 10:22 pm

      Thank you so much Karen.

      1. Archana

        August 9, 2021 at 9:10 pm

        5 stars
        I have not had dinner tonight and your falafel stuffed pita are sure making me very hungry. Simple and delicious how I wish I can make the pita and falafel just now.
        Will have to plan making this week. Sounds delicious and is definitely filling.

      2. mayurisjikoni

        August 10, 2021 at 2:39 am

        Thank you so much Archana, it definitely is a filling sandwich.

  • Amy’s Cooking Adventures

    August 2, 2021 at 6:41 am

    What a beautiful sandwich! It sounds filling and delicious!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 2, 2021 at 10:22 pm

      Thank you so much Amy.

  • Rebekah R Hills

    August 3, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    These look wonderfully flavorful, fresh, and filling!

  • Sneha Datar

    August 4, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    Filling and delicious pita sandwich!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 4, 2021 at 6:22 pm

      Thanks

  • CAMILLA M MANN

    August 4, 2021 at 9:31 pm

    We love falafel. I can’t wait to try your recipe, Mayuri!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 10, 2021 at 2:51 am

      thank you so much Camilla. Enjoy when you try out the recipe.

  • Jayashree T.Rao

    August 9, 2021 at 4:39 pm

    5 stars
    Whole wheat pita bread looks good, tasty, filling and something my kind. The pita bread looks soft and fluffy.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 10, 2021 at 2:40 am

      Thank you so much Jayashree.

  • hem lata srivastava

    August 9, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    5 stars
    Such beautiful presentation, your post makes me hungry. Pita bread lookd so perfectly baked and Falafel looks so tempting. I wish I could have it right now..
    Amazing pictures.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 10, 2021 at 2:40 am

      Thank you so much Hem Lata.

  • Renu

    August 10, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    5 stars
    We love falafel and falafel sandwich or wraps. Though I generally make wraps instead of pita. I like that you have made the pita bread with whole wheat flour instead of plain. And that spinach hummus looks very refreshing with vibrant colour.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 10, 2021 at 7:04 pm

      Thank you so much Renu. Next time making falafel sandwich in a wrap, that is a very good suggestion.

  • Seema Sriram

    August 13, 2021 at 8:27 am

    5 stars
    I love falafel sandwichs to carry to work. They are so filling and the pita pocket is the best as it can stack on so much and still make a clean parcel. I love the abundance of salad in these pockets you have made here.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 13, 2021 at 9:09 am

      Thank you so much Seema. I too like that one can stuff practically anything into these pita pockets and it becomes a healthy meal.

  • Bless my food by Payal

    August 14, 2021 at 8:50 am

    5 stars
    Presenting it like a sandwich is definitely a unique and different idea rather than serving pita bread and falafel is separate bowls. Great to find that each item is homemade and looks way delicious.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 15, 2021 at 7:30 pm

      Thank you Shailender. In the west it is common to find falafel served in a pita bread as a wholesome and healthy meal.

  • Kalyani

    August 14, 2021 at 1:29 pm

    5 stars
    oh these falafel sandwiches are so wholesome, nutritious and pleasing on the eye n palate ! great for summers and potluck too

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 15, 2021 at 7:29 pm

      Thank you so much Kalyani, definitely makes a great party dish and for potluck too.

  • amrita

    August 18, 2021 at 12:45 am

    5 stars
    Falafels are always favourite in any form. This pitabread sandwich with falafel and loaded with tomato, cucumber and salad leaves makes a complete nutritious meal. Also loved the idea of spinach hummus..

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 25, 2021 at 2:23 pm

      Thank you so much Amrita. It definitely is a filling and healthy meal.

  • Pavani

    August 26, 2021 at 11:18 am

    5 stars
    What a delicious and filling pita sandwich. Thanks for sharing the recipe for falafel and spinach hummus as well. Can’t wait to try this amazing sandwich.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 26, 2021 at 8:48 pm

      Thank you so much Pavani. Spinach hummus is so tasty, try it.

  • Vandana

    August 30, 2021 at 11:43 pm

    5 stars
    I love falafel sandwiches but always use ready made pita bread. Never thought of making it at home. Thank you for this awesome recipe. The bread looks so perfect. Also loved the ideas of soi ach hummus.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 31, 2021 at 12:37 am

      Thank you Vandana. Making pita bread at home is easy. I know it is tempting to buy them when they are available.

  • Jagruti’s Cooking Odyssey

    September 2, 2021 at 11:37 am

    5 stars
    Absolutely LOVE falafel, whenever we are on holiday always rely on falafel as we are vegetarian. I had the best falafel sandwich whilst I was in Austria at one of the authentic falafel stalls. Beautiful post.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 2, 2021 at 3:21 pm

      Thank you so much Hayley. We too depend on falafel when travelling.. best filling food.

  • Uma Srinivas

    September 2, 2021 at 1:54 pm

    5 stars
    This looks absolutely delcious. I love falafel and pita bread. A sandwich with pita bread sounds even better.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 2, 2021 at 3:20 pm

      Thanks Uma, I love to use pita bread as a sandwich. I sometimes add paneer tikka, dry aloo sabji, etc.

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