Have you wanted to make falafel, but then thought how do I eat it? The best way to eat falafel is a falafel pita bread sandwich! This sandwich is highly customizable and easy to make.
So let's address the big elephant in the room. Falafel takes a lot of time to make from scratch because of the prep (the dried beans need to soak). And no, we can't use canned beans because they are already cooked, leaving you with falafel dough that's way too moist.
Before making this recipe, you need to either prep ahead Lebanese falafel patties or have some frozen Egyptian falafel (tameya) in your freezer. If you have some frozen Egyptian falafel on hand, this meal turns into a 30-minute breeze.
What Is a Falafel Sandwich Made Of?
A falafel sandwich usually contains falafel, pita bread, vegetables, and a tahini yogurt falafel sauce. There are many different types of variations for each ingredient, so I go into a little more depth below.
I like Egyptian falafel (tameya) because it uses chickpeas and split fava beans making the falafel texture a bit softer. However, if I can't find peeled split fava beans at the supermarket, I'll use this Lebanese fried falafel recipe instead. Lebanese fried falafel is what you most probably think of when you think of falafel. Below are 3 types of falafel I recommend using for this pita sandwich.
2. Pita Bread For Falafel
There are many different types of pita bread from the thin large-diameter Lebanese pita to the thicker smaller diameter pita bread you might find at the supermarket. For this specific recipe, I use thick small diameter pita bread known as baladi pita bread.
If pita bread is hard to come by at the grocery store, try looking at a Middle Eastern grocery store. Also, pita bread is freezer-friendly, so when you do find some, stock up! Also, you can make some pita bread at home if you have time.
This falafel pita bread sandwich recipes uses 3 vegetables: Persian cucumbers, tomatoes, and arugala.
- Persian Cucumbers: English cucumbers can be substituted. Traditional cucumbers (cucumbers with a thick skin) can be peeled and used as well.
- Tomatoes: Any type of tomato or grape tomato is suitable for the sandwich. I like to slice the tomatoes thinly so the sandwich bread doesn't get too soggy from the tomatoes.
- Arugula: This is my favorite option for falafel because it has a peppery taste that compliments the falafel and falafel sauce really well.
Falafel sauce is as crucial as a burger sauce. I can't eat a dry burger, nor can I eat a dry falafel sandwich. Luckily, falafel sauce is easy to whip up with just 4 ingredients (not counting water). It's made with garlic, lime, tahini paste, yogurt, and water.
How To Make The Best Falafel Sandwich
Falafel sandwiches come in a lot of forms, some of them being: a wrap, a pita pocket, or a flatbread sandwich. My two favorite ways to eat falafel are as a pita pocket and a flatbread sandwich.
Falafel Pita Pocket Sandwiches
I recommend using thick pita bread for the pita pocket sandwiches so the sandwiches won't fall apart. Don't overstuff the pita pocket sandwiches otherwise the bread will break. Personally, I add the veggies on the bottom, the falafel on top, and pour the falafel sauce at the end. I eat this sort of like a taco.
Falafel Flatbread Sandwiches
I guess this is where my American side kicks in. Sometimes, I want to eat my falafel sandwich like a sandwich. It's similar to making a burger or turkey sandwich but using a pita flatbread. I find this method the easiest to do, but that's just me.
When making a falafel flatbread sandwich, I recommend using a small diameter pita bread that's thick. I layer the vegetables on the bottom, falafel on top, and spread the falafel sauce on the bread itself. I eat this kind of like a burger.