Don't let the pictures, or my husband's commentary, fool you. This was either the most ingenious use of DIY resourcefulness or a total fast food impostor recipe abomination. I lean towards best at-home lunch ever!
Although I live in a city bursting full of kosher schwarma shops that line the main street, there are precious few places that sell falafel. Why is that you ask? I honestly have no idea.
If you live somewhere with a great discrepancy between available schwarma to falafel or just want to know the easiest way to make your own (healthier) falafel and also fix up your pita like a genuine street food experience in your home, this tutorial is for you.
Super Amazing Falafel DIY Impostor Recipe
Step 1). The easiest way to get genuine falafel is to purchase a ready made powder which you can purchase here or if you're adventuresome you could grind your own chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and mix in spices like these found here. Both options will produce falafel and it all depends on your personal preference. Although I have ready mix waiting in my home (usually due to the family Etsy shop) I like doing things the long and tedious way (grinding beans and adding fresh spice).
Step 2). If you happen to keep a deep fryer around the house, you can toss in the tiny balls of mush chickpea mix till browned. If you are like me and terrified by the thought of cooking with vats of oil, it's time for the oven. This is where my husband and I disagree because I find no reason falafel needs to be a burning hot ball of grease whereas he absolutely believes this is exactly what falafel should be.
Step 3). Cut your pita in half, throw it in the over for just a minute to help it open up a bit if it is giving you trouble.
Step 4). Cut up your essential pita stuffers. At a genuine falafel street vendor you'd find a wide variety of salads and pickles but luckily I enjoy a simple palate of pickles, onions, Yemeni spice and humous (oddly enough, also ground chickpeas... there is a bit of redundancy in available ingredients throughout the Middle East).
If it's fresh and a vegetable it also belongs in a pita. Middle Eastern fast food is not really as detrimental to your health as the American variety (minus the flaming balls of fried grease).
This is some serious humous. In Hebrew it's just called "spicey" and is found at our local grocer.
Step 5). Shove all your ingredients and freshly baked falafel into your pita. The most genuine Israeli falafel (in my mind) includes chips (french fries). Again, my aversion to deep fryers leaves my falafel just short of greatness until I realize I have potato chips. A totally reasonable compromise.