Falafel Pittas

29 Nov 2023

It is widely thought that falafel were first made by native Egyptian Christians as a replacement for meat during Lent. They are often served as ‘street food’ and are a popular dish that is eaten throughout the Middle East.


Sunflower oil for greasing
1 small red onion
2 cloves garlic
1 x 400g can chickpeas
Small bunch parsley OR coriander
1 x 5ml spoon ground cumin
¼ x 5ml spoon chilli powder (optional)
1 x 5ml spoon ground coriander
2 x 15ml spoons plain flour
Ground black pepper (optional)
4 wholemeal pitta breads


Pastry brush
Baking tray
Chopping board
Sharp knife
Can opener
Measuring spoons
Large mixing bowl
Potato masher
Metal spoon
Oven gloves
Fish slice
Pan stand


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan or gas mark 6.
  2. Lightly grease the baking tray with sunflower oil using a pastry brush.
  3. Using a sharp knife and chopping board, peel and finely chop the onion and garlic.
  4. Open the can of chickpeas, drain into a colander and rinse under the cold tap.
  5. Chop the parsley or coriander finely, including any soft stalks.
  6. Place the onion, garlic, spices, herbs and chickpeas into the mixing bowl and mash to a paste with the potato masher.
  7. Add the flour and the black pepper to taste (if using) to the mixing bowl. Mix well with a metal spoon.
  8. Shape the mixture into balls about the size of a golf ball and flatten slightly before placing on thebaking tray.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes, turning the falafel over with a fish slice after 10 minutes.
  10. Wash and shred the lettuce into 1cm wide strips. You can use a sharp knife and chopping board.
  11. Once the falafel are cooked, remove from the oven and place on a pan stand. Place the pitta breads onto a baking tray and heat in the oven for 2 minutes.
  12. Place some shredded lettuce and 3 falafel into each pitta bread.
  13. Drizzle with Cucumber Raita (download the recipe from our website).

Top Tips

  • If the mixture is very thick, when mashing into a paste add 1 x 15ml spoon of cold water or lemon juice.
  • Lightly oil your hands before shaping the mixture, to prevent it sticking.
  • Serve with Cucumber Raita, download this recipe from our website.
  • Use the empty tomato can to measure the water so you use every bit of tomato juice.

Something to try next time

  • Add 1 red pepper (washed and sliced into ½cm thick strips) or 1 tomato finely sliced with the lettuce to increase the number of vegetable portions and add colour to the dish.
  • Serve Mexican Tomato Salsa or Carrot Couscous Salad as an accompaniment. Please see our website for these recipes.
  • Add two slices of crispy hot halloumi cheese to the pitta breads as well as the falafel and salad. Slice the cheese into 2mm thick slices and brown in a hot non-stick frying pan for 2–3 minutes on each side.

Prepare now, eat later

  • Slice the onion, garlic and coriander or parsley up to 4 hours in advance and store in a plastic container in the fridge.
  • Prepare the falafel mixture up to 4 hours in advance and store in a plastic container in the fridge.
  • If serving cold, you can prepare the cooked falafel up to 2 hours in advance and store, covered, in the fridge.
  • Falafel can be frozen. Cool and pack into airtight containers or bags and freeze for up to a month. Defrost thoroughly before reheating at 180°C/160°C fan or gas mark 4 for 10 minutes or until piping hot.