Night Seven: Festive Falafel

Falafel Square 1

Credit: Self Proclaimed Foodie

On this Seventh Night of Hanukkah, we bring you…Festive Falafel.

While fried foods, like latkes and sufganiyot are traditionally eaten during the festival of Hanukkah in honor of the great miracle, why not the Israeli dish of falafel? After all, the miracle we’re celebrating is the oil that kept the menorah lit for 8 days instead of the 1 day it was supposed to last. So, without further ado, here’s our favorite falafel recipe, graciously donated by Alicia Hammond.

Yield: about 20 balls


1 c dried chickpeas

1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)

2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley

2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 tsp salt

1/2 – 1 tsp dried hot red pepper

6 cloves of garlic

1 1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp baking powder

4 – 6 tbsp flour

Soybean or Vegetable Oil for frying

Chopped tomato, onion, and green bell pepper for garnish

Pickled Turnips

Tahina sauce

Pita bread


  1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least two (2) inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained.
  2. Place the drained, uncooked, chickpeas and onions into a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended, not pureed.
  3. Sprinkle baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour and pulse. Add enough bulgur or flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Place dough into bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
  4. Form the dough into balls about the size of walnuts, or use a falafel scoop (available at most Middle-Eastern markets).
  5. Heat three (3) inches of oil to a 375° in a deep pot or wok, and fry one (1) ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about six (6) balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
  6. Stuff half of a pita with falafel balls, chopped tomatoes, onion, green bell pepper, and pickled turnips. Drizzle with tahina sauce (thinned with water) and ENJOY!

For more recipes, interviews, and history of Hanukkah, click here.

Categories: Hanukkah, Local News