Get Baked: Falafel and Beyond

Today’s mini Get Baked is brought to you by the letter B for Bon Iver who’s new album is streaming and who I listened to while cooking. I really like “Towers,” what about you?

I thought you’d enjoy this Mediterranean-style menu, which is a pretty cheap meal because a lot of the ingredients are typically around-the-house things and the parts you’ll be buying are good for more than one recipe (i.e. parsley, chickpeas if you’re making hummus).

It’s also easy to pace with a little bit of planning. My schedule went like this: dry chickpeas (for falafel) and leave to strain, set bulgur wheat to soak (for tabouli), make pita dough and leave to rise, watch two episodes of “The Good Wife,” make tabouli, make falafel “dough” and refrigerate, cook pitas, grill zucchini while cooking falafel.

Let’s start with the main deal: falafel. I followed a recipe from Chow Vegan this time but now that I’ve got the idea down, I’ll probably experiment with throwing in different ingredients (Black beans? Sweet potatoes? The possibilities are endless!) next time.

You will need:

1 16-ounce can of Chickpeas
1 small Onion
2-3 Garlic Cloves
3 tablespoons of Fresh Parsley
1 tablespoon of fresh Cilantro
1 teaspoon of Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon of Olive Oil
1 teaspoon of Coriander
1 teaspoon of Cumin
1/2 teaspoon of Chili Powder
2 tablespoons of Flour
1 teaspoon of Baking Powder
Salt and Pepper

Everyone online says that it’s a lot easier to make falafel with soaking dry chickpeas because the little guys hold together better, but I found that works just as well if you do the opposite: strain chickpeas from a can and let them sit in a towel for a few hours or over night so that some of the liquid evaporates.

When you feel like the beans are ready, mash them all up. It’s pretty tough to do with a fork so either use a mash potato masher or a food processor. Now just stir in the rest of the ingredients. Roll the mixture into little balls and then gently flatten them, it helps to refrigerate the “dough” before you do this. I know that falafel is deep fried in restaurants, but something about actually seeing all that oil with my eyes freak me out so I fried them in a small amount of oil in a pan on medium-high.

Step 2: Tabouli. This is a recipe based on various internet resources and my friend Simone.

1 cup of Bulgar Wheat
1 cup of Water
2 cups of Parsley
1/2 cup of Mint
1/2 cup of Romaine Lettuce
3 sticks of Green Onion
3 Tomatoes
3 teaspoons of Lemon Juice
3 teaspoons of Olive oil

Soak the bulgar wheat in water until all the water is absorbed, usually about an hour. Basically you just chop up everything until it’s really tiny and then mix it together. I cut off half my fingernail because I got distracted during the 37th minute of chopping shit, so you might want to try using a food processor.

Pita is next! It’s pretty similar to naan with just a few differences in ingredient amounts because the dough is a little drier.

1 of cup warm Water (not hot or boiling)
2 teaspoons of Yeast
1 teaspoon of Sugar
3 cups of Flour
2 teaspoons of Salt
2 teaspoons of Olive Oil

Dissolve the sugar and yeast and let it sit for ten minutes to grow. Next mix in the salt, olive oil, and flour until you have a shaggy dough. Knead it for 10 minutes on a floured surface and then let it rise for 1 to 2 hours (or 30 minutes if your mom’s coming home then and is hungry). Pinch of a small amount, roll it out using flour, and cook it in a skillet on medium high.

Finally you need things to eat with the falafel. I grilled zucchini, sliced tomatoes, and put out some hummus thatIdidnotmakeshhhh but you can.

Look at all that food you just made! As I’m finishing this up, I’m realizing that everything here is vegan so here you go, an accidental vegan meal!

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Laura is a tiny girl who wishes she were a superhero. She likes talking to her grandma on the phone and making things with her hands. Strengths include an impressive knowledge of Harry Potter, the ability to apply sociology to everything under the sun, and a knack for haggling for groceries in Spanish. Weaknesses: Chick-fil-a, her triceps, girls in glasses, and the subjunctive mood. Follow the vagabond adventures of Laura and her bike on twitter [@laurrrrita].

Laura has written 308 articles for us.


  1. FALAFEL. I am so down. That home-made pita bread looks amazing, I will have to try it.

  2. Looks so good!!! Thanks to this/you falafel and pita are going to happen in my life and then I will save money from eating tasty food at home instead of eating out : ) I feel like I should donate part of the difference to AS in thanks…

  3. Bon Iver! Tabbouleh! Hummus! These are a few of my favourite things, etc.

    (I’m all about Perth right now)

  4. not gonna lie, the best thing i got out of this was listening to the new bon iver album. THANK YOU LAURA, because you didn’t need to include that, but you did!

  5. If you want to make gluten free tabouli, quinoa works very, very well instead of bulgur. (the more you know!)

    Also, falafel. Gibes zem to me.

    • Oh hey you said that too. Yay quinoa!

      I’m not gluten free. I just love quinoa.

  6. omg! I totally didn’t realize that falafel is something I could make with the ingredients I can find in the Philippines! (My roommate and I really want hummus, but she doesn’t like it without tahini, and we can’t buy tahini here.)

    And pita looks less fussy than I thought too. Basically? Peace Corps just got a whole lot better. <3

      • you are correct. also, homemade tahini is better cuz people will be all ‘wow, homemade hummus, good job.’ and you’ll be all, ‘i even made the tahini’ and everybody will be ‘OMG MARRY ME YOU ARE A FABULOUS TALENTED COOK’

      • It’s on my list! The local food processors aren’t great, but I’m thinking about seeing if I can accomplish anything with a mortar and pestle. How badass would that be?

  7. Oh, hell yes. Falafel is my favorite food. Seriously, I used to live within walking distance to both Amsterdam Falafel and Moaz! I want to /killself without any nearby falafel. I can’t even find any in the prepared or frozen foods sections of the grocery stores where I live now. I went out and bought a food processor so I could make my own. They were OK, but not as good as the kind of bought at the store (and clearly no where near the deep-fried ones at a restaurant!). Maybe I’ll give this recipe a whirl. It has a few extra ingredients that weren’t in the batch I made. Falafel goes great with fries, but stuffed grape leaves are shizz too.

  8. First, “Holocene” is my favorite.

    Second, that sounds and looks amazing. I have never made falafel from scratch, I’ve always gotten the mixture from the company Near East, who usually never fail me (they have amazing couscous). I am definitely going to try this!

  9. I dont want to gross anyone out but I read “I cut off half my fingernail because I got distracted”, and then scrolled down to the picture and in my head, every pinkish/redish thing was your finger.

    Hope your finger(nail) is alright. Because I want you to cook lots of food for me.

  10. I f*cking love falafel… THANK YOU I’m probably going to make it for every meal now.
    I also have a lot of positive feelings re: grilled zucchini.

  11. i don’t know what any of these things are, but they look yummy. someone should cook them for my.

    is falafel something like latkes?

  12. I love falafel and tabouli SO MUCH. For some reason I never thought to make my own pitas though. That will change tomorrow. I’m so excited that I have everything I need to make all three.

  13. I made the falafel and pitas tonight AND I AM SO PLEASED and so is everyone I fed.

    I approve of this Get Baked.

    • Sam approves of this Get Baked! I’m so happy when someone else succeeds at cooking too =)

Comments are closed.