Baked Falafel with Lemon Tahini Sauce

by Andie Mitchell on April 3, 2011

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Uh hi, hello, Paris?

I’m sorry, I’m trying to reach France – the country not the Hilton.

Sure, I’ll wait. I understand the confusion.

Oh hi, hello there! My name is Andrea Mitchell and I just wanted to speak with someone about the food there.

 

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No, not the crepes. Uh uh not the croissants or the escargot or even the croque monsieur (though I would like to speak about that at a later date). No, I’m actually calling because…well…you see…hah…it’s a funny thing…I – well – I came there about five years ago around this time in early spring and…ha…oh you see, I just haven’t for the life of me been able to forget that one hot and greasy falafel sandwich I bought at a little shop in your Latin Quarter.

 

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Right, sorry, this is not about the crepes. No, ma’am, please. I don’t mean to insult your finer sensibilities. I have no doubt that the beouf bourguignon is all that. (I’m bringing that phrase back, thankyouverymuch.) Listen, I saw Julie and Julia. I get it.

 

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I digress.

I just really need to speak to someone about the falafel.

Yes, I realize it’s not French.

 

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Sure, I’d be happy to explain: it’s that hot buttered flatbread filled with crispy fried garbanzo bean patties, crumbled feta, velvety tahini, chopped lettuce, tomato, and sharp red onion.

Right, there’s a shop- it’s actually quite close to Shakespeare and Company bookstore. Mmm hmm just a stone’s throw from Notre Dame.

You’re sure you don’t know which one?

…Positive?

Hmm…well…okay. I guess it’s a lost cause. Thanks for your time.

 

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I’ll just be over here…ya know…thinking about falafel and trying my damndest to ah… recreate a meal I ate five years ago.

No I have nothing better to do. 

Nope, no siree bob, not a thing.

Really.

I know.

Super unfortunate.

KthanksBye.

Oh! And actually, can you put Paris back on the phone?

Yup, Hilton this time.

[Dialtone].

 

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This falafel recipe, though not quite as lovely as the one that’s deep fried and waiting for me in the streets of Paris, is absolutely delicious. It’s one of those dinners that really makes me giddy. I like to wrap it in foil or parchment, load it with extra feta and creamy, smooth tahini sauce and eat with my eyes closed and smiling.

The patties are richly spiced with cumin, coriander, and a hit of spicy chili powder. Each one crumbles and almost melts into the silky tahini. There’s a sharpness from the garlic and onion, a brightness from fresh parsley and lemon, and then a cool, satisfying tang from crumbled feta.  Find the best, most authentic pita bread you can for this recipe. I recommend a buttery flatbread, warmed in the oven for a few minutes to soften and blister.

Enjoy!

 

 

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Baked Falafel with Lemon Tahini Sauce

serves 2

Falafel

15oz can chickpeas, drained

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon chili powder

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

 

Lemon Tahini Sauce

2 tablespoons tahini paste

zest and juice of 1 lemon

 

Remaining Ingredients:

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

2 pita breads (5” diameter)

½ cup thinly sliced red onion

1 cup chopped tomatoes

1 cup chopped green leaf lettuce

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Combine all falafel ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well blended. Scoop the bean mixture into a bowl and shape into 8 equal sized patties. Place on a greased baking sheet, brush each with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes.

Whisk the tahini, lemon juice, and zest in a small bowl.

Divide the hot falafel among the two warmed pita breads and top with chopped lettuce, tomato, thinly sliced red onion, crumbled feta, and the lemon-tahini sauce.

Nutrition info for 1 serving (1/2 of entire recipe):

Calories: 538, Fat: 18.7g, Cholesterol: 33.4mg, Carb: 73.1g, Fiber: 10.4g, Sugars: 0.1g, Protein: 21.2g

{ 91 comments… read them below or add one }

carlee April 4, 2011 at 12:17 am

OoOo! mY MOM would LOVE something like this!! Im gonna have to make this! I love anything with beans!

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Frieda April 4, 2011 at 12:27 am

Tahini makes everything better. I ate something like that on a trip to israel (that is also the country that made me fall in love with tahini ^^). I love the middle-eastern-kitchen :)
i will try this recipe asap. probably a good treat for myself after my exam week. :)

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Halley April 4, 2011 at 12:59 am

Def gonna make these tomorrow. Thanks!

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Sareen Akharjalian April 4, 2011 at 1:34 am

Falafel is actually a VERY middle eastern dish, and we always eat it in Lebanon. If you’re frying the Falafel a very good addition would be to dip it in sesame seeds and THEN cook them. Trust me, it’s heavenly!

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johnny April 4, 2011 at 2:18 am

I will have to try these, they do look very tasty. Oh by the way, we made the double chocolate coconut blondies this weekend and they are FANTASTIC !!!!!! That one will go into the family cook book as a must for desert :)

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Dishes of Mrs. Fish April 4, 2011 at 2:39 am

Hi, can you put Andrea on the phone?
Yes- the one who made that great baked falafel.
Oh you found her? Good.
Now tell her I’d love one of these delivered to my house for dinner.
K, thanks. :)

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cleaneatingchelsey April 4, 2011 at 4:22 am

I love you right now.

I went to Paris two years ago, and the best thing I ate was a falafel from this little bity shop in the middle of a bustling quarter. It was the one of the best meals of my life. I’m going to pray to God the Husband will eat this because we’re having Falafel this week!!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat April 4, 2011 at 5:01 am

These sound awesome Andrea! I made baked falafels a while ago – (http://bit.ly/i8VWsq) it was my first time ever having them – even though I spent 5 years growing up in the Middle East! They were delicious and yours sound amazing too! Love the photos!

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Matt @ The Athlete's Plate April 4, 2011 at 5:12 am

Yum! Looks great!

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Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean April 4, 2011 at 5:47 am

love your pictures in this one!! sounds delicious right now.

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Lindsay April 4, 2011 at 5:59 am

I was making my grocery list yesterday, and I thought “I should find a recipe for baked falafel,” but then I felt too lazy so I came up with a different meal. When I saw this today, I was like, “WHAAAT?!” This will definitely be consumed in my house next week. So excited!

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MelissaNibbles April 4, 2011 at 6:40 am

I love this post. So cute!

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danielle April 4, 2011 at 6:41 am

Just bookmarked this one – thanks for sharing it!

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sarajojojo April 4, 2011 at 6:43 am

That looks unbelievably delicious. :D

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Beth April 4, 2011 at 6:56 am

Yuuuuuuuum!! Falafel is one of my favorites and this recipe sounds amazing!

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Erin April 4, 2011 at 7:06 am

There is a great Greek restaurant near where I live in Memphis, TN (I know strange place for it to be), but this is great for when I want to stay in for dinner but still crave!

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brandi@BranAppetit April 4, 2011 at 7:09 am

that looks so good! i made a baked sweet potato falafel last summer – I need to make some more :)

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Jess @ Fit Chick in the City April 4, 2011 at 7:27 am

Thank you for the recipe! I’ve bookmarked it and hope to make it soon!

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Jessica April 4, 2011 at 7:32 am

I just wrote a post about French food too :)
PS- you make me laugh. And this makes me hungry. For falafel.

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biz319 April 4, 2011 at 8:12 am

I actually have this on my menu for lunch this week – cannot wait for it! :D

Hope you had a great weekend Andrea!

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Kelly April 4, 2011 at 8:28 am

I have never had falafel or tahini…sad huh?

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Carissa April 4, 2011 at 9:26 am

These look fantastic. Eating it out of the aluminum foil wrapper makes it so much better, like you’re still walking down the streets in France.

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Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food April 4, 2011 at 10:05 am

mmm what a great way to make falafels healthy and still delicious, I can’t wait to try this recipe! :)

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Can You Stay for Dinner April 4, 2011 at 10:08 am

Thanks Jenny :)

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Lisa @ Thrive Style April 4, 2011 at 11:25 am

This looks amazing! I’m a huge falafel fan, but I’ve never actually made it. I think I could handle it :)

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Lindsey @ trail to train April 4, 2011 at 11:41 am

I have a serious love affair with falafel! I have never made it from scratch before so I think I am just going to have to try this recipe! I usually buy a good container of the dried mix at a mediterrean market in Worcester and make it that way but this sounds easire. At the very least I wouldn’t have to wait an hour for the mixture to soak..

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Sanjeeta kk April 4, 2011 at 11:45 am

Love the baked version of falafel! Thanks for the comment on my Foodista profile, got to know about your lovely space here. Would love to hop over again for such wonderful delicacies from you.

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Euniece[innerpeacehealthytreats&runningfeet] April 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm

forget about the bread and crepes! this looks absolutely fantastic!! i can not wait to try the recipe!!!

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Maria April 4, 2011 at 1:33 pm

:::Salivating:::

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Leah @ Why Deprive? April 4, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Have I mentioned before how badly I want to live in your kitchen?

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Can You Stay for Dinner April 4, 2011 at 2:17 pm

You’re welcome anytime :)

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Jenny April 4, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Wow that falafel looks amazing! I’ve never made any before and last time my brother tried, it was such fail lol :(

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Rachel @ The Avid Appetite April 4, 2011 at 2:31 pm

I adore the Latin Quarter! I was too preoccupied with the social acceptance of eating fries with mayo sauce (um, yes please?!) to get to the falafel, but I wish I had! You did a beautiful re-creation!

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Can You Stay for Dinner April 4, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Ahhhh mayo- I love it. Glad someone else was as food-minded abroad :)

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Autumn @ Good Eats Girl April 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Oh, wow! Can I come over for dinner next time you make these?!!? They look amazing and so bright and colorful! I’m definitely going to have to try them!

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Jessica @ How Sweet April 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Ummm can we talk about my love for you?

I only had my first falafel in October (sad, I know. I lived over 25 years without) and became instantly obsessed. Secret #2 is that I HAVEN’T HAD ONE SINCE!!! Andrea, what the eff is wrong with me?? And why aren’t you my neighbor? Can you ship these across the country?? In time for dinner tonight??

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Kate (What Kate is Cooking) April 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Pretty sure this is my dream recipe. I am obsessed with lemon and tahini recently, and I always love falafel!

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Katy April 4, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Your recipe looks amazing and I’ll definitely book mark it…. But I’m going to Paris for the first time in a few weeks and im now dreaming of finding this sandwich (any tips to locate it, we’re staying in the Latin quarter ;) ?) and having one just for you nd my favorite new blog!

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Alexa @ SimpleEats April 4, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Oh my gosh, falafel is one of my favorite things! I’ve never made it, but this definitely looks like THE recipe to try my hand at it!

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Bee April 4, 2011 at 7:58 pm

I had a similar experience in Providence with some Falafel–I’d never even heard of it before, but this little hole-in-the-wall was giving out free samples while I was on a high school chorus field trip. I fell in love, but have yet to have falafel as delicious as I remember. I love the fried-ness, but I may have to try your version if only because I fail very much at frying!

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Afner April 4, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Superb! Chikpeas are my favorite!

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Darla April 4, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Does the calorie total include the pita bread?
Can’t wait to make this…sounds divine!!!

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Can You Stay for Dinner April 5, 2011 at 7:09 am

Yup! Including pita, feta, tahini, and falafel!

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Megan (Braise The Roof) April 5, 2011 at 11:42 am

Yep, that’s the falafel place that was ON MY BLOCK. It was amazing. While you were getting healthy in Rome, I was eating falafel 23 times a day and packing on 15 pounds. Haha! I wouldn’t change it, though. Those were some damn good falafel. :)

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Can You Stay for Dinner April 5, 2011 at 11:51 am

Amen. Those falafel were the BEST. So glad you know the shop :)

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Stephanie@MyThornsHaveRoses April 5, 2011 at 2:02 pm

I have now had falafel twice and it’s my newest obsession. I tried making it at home and it was tasty but not like the place I had ordered it either. I am going to have to try this recipe. It looks outer worldly!

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oatsandspice April 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm

I am literally like drooling over these delicious looking falafels! I want to make them NOW – thanks for the great recipe :)

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Mary @ Delightful Bitefuls April 5, 2011 at 2:38 pm

This looks increeedible!!!!

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Shannon April 5, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Funny that your most memorable falafel was in Paris. Mine was in Florence. Sometimes I think to myself, “when I get back to Florence… first thing I’m going to do is have a falafel”. So wrong, yet so right.

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Can You Stay for Dinner April 10, 2011 at 9:04 am

Oh how I love Florence :) Firenze! Aaaahhhh can I join you if you ever go back? :)

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Ann April 5, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Love falafel! And that lemon tahini sauce looks amazing. These will be on my list for next week.

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Ashley April 5, 2011 at 8:47 pm

These look outstanding!!! Amazing photos!!

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The Teenage Taste April 6, 2011 at 4:01 am

Ohmygosh! This is amazing! I love falafel, but hate how it is deep-fried and filled with fat. Thanks for the healthier baked recipe! :-D

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Brooke (Baking with Basil) April 6, 2011 at 6:08 am

I LOOOVE falafels! I can’t wait to try out this recipe. My first attempt at making them turned out a little dry and I haven’t tried again since…until now! Great pics!

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Theresa April 6, 2011 at 6:53 am

I’ve hesitated to try falafel at home because of the deep frying. This makes it guilt-free! Thanks.

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Jen @ keepitsimplefoods April 6, 2011 at 7:28 am

I prefer to deep fry my falafel (hey, I’m southern!) but these look mighty tasty as well. :)

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Megan @ Healthy Hoggin' April 6, 2011 at 7:36 am

Oh, the falafel in Paris is out-of-this-world!! I have yet to try replicating it at home, but your recipe looks delicious! (and obviously, healthier!) ;)

Thanks for sharing!!

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Nat April 6, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Mmm.. falafel. Memories of L’As du Falafel in Le Marais.

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Can You Stay for Dinner April 6, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Mmm….I wish I were in Paris right now :)

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Annie April 10, 2011 at 7:37 pm

I made these tonight for dinner. Oh my goodness, SO delicious. We didn’t throw onion on ours, but instead put in some diced cucumber. It went over so well.

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iscribbler April 12, 2011 at 6:48 pm

I’ve just made this and I have to say that it was definitely delicious! I had utterly failed to find tahini at my grocery store, but I improvised somewhat and it was still so good. Thank you!

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Joy May 9, 2011 at 11:09 am

Yum! My boyfriend and I made these a few nights ago, and both LOVED them! I’m glad that they were still good when baked instead of fried. We added garlic to the lemon tahini sauce and a dollop of Greek yogurt on our wraps…so good! And perfect with a few stuffed grape leaves on the side. Thanks!

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Heidi C May 16, 2011 at 1:18 pm

I made these and they were amazing! I’ve never had falafel before, and I can’t imagine what the “real” version would taste like fried. This baked version is just sublime!
I just recently discovered your blog by the way, and I love your food philosophy. Thanks for sharing your views on healthy eating with a healthy mindset.

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Jinal May 22, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I am trying this for dinner today… I am so excited to make it… :)…

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Jinal May 22, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Everyone loved this recipe…. It turned out perfectly… Everyone praised n I told them
Credit goes to this beautiful and intelligent lady. Thank you… :)…

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Elisabeth July 25, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Definitely ate a falafel from L’As du Falafel in the Latin Quarter of Paris. It was amazing. The best I’ve ever had.

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Jen @ Jen and Company November 3, 2011 at 4:32 am

I made these last night for dinner. They were excellent. I didn’t have any pita so I served them over salad greens and used pita chips as croutons. Excellent!

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Melis November 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Seriously going to have to make this- especially for my daughters who fancy themselves to be greek food aficionados. And goddesses. ;)

Thanks for the great recipe!

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Andrea January 13, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Made the falafel recipe this evening and it was a hit with my entire family. Thanks you! I will make this again!

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Andrea January 31, 2012 at 11:12 am

Just made these falafel and popped them atop a massaged kale salad. YUM! Thanks for the great recipe!

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Justeen @ Blissful Baking February 12, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Made these for a a friend’s birthday dinner and everyone really enjoyed them! They were so flavorful and so simple to make!

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Bethany February 29, 2012 at 6:03 pm

YUM! Enjoying these right now and will be taking for lunch tomorrow. Such an easy recipe to make!

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Dani March 28, 2012 at 6:55 am

Hi :D

The israelo-parisian I am know exactly where you bought your falafel but WAIT there are some other place where it’s waaayyyy more tasty ! If you come back to Paris, please go to the jewish neighborhood, your tummy will hate me, but your stomach will be so thankful. If you want to do even better, go to Israël (or Libanon, both beautiful countries), falafel are everywheeeereeee

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Erica May 7, 2012 at 5:19 pm

I made this tonight. It was amazing! I did not make the tahini sauce and I added lemon juice to the patties. I didn’t have any cumin or chili powder. I added a 1/2 teaspoon of paprika and a 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne which gave them quite. Kick. Thank you for a great recipe.

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Mary Frances Ellison May 15, 2012 at 12:41 pm

This recipe is amazing – made them with my family (husband and two kids – ages 14 and 10) and everyone pronounced them to be fantastic! This is our go-to falafel recipe now … and the kids love ‘em! (And I love that they’re baked and not fried – although I admit to having cravings for crunchy, deep-fried falafels – and the spicing is perfect.) These are incredibly tasty falafels.

Enjoying your blog … great writing makes for pleasurable reading!

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Jenna October 7, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Just made this. It was a little dry and could have used a bit more taste in the actual felafel itself. I ended up adding olive oil to the felafel mix as well as some jalapenos.
The tahini sauce needed to be a little less thick so I also added some milk to it which helped the spreadability factor.

All in all, I ate all of it and it still tasted good, but I had a little higher expectations.

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Jenna October 8, 2012 at 9:48 am

Update:
I reheated the leftovers today and they were a lot better than I remember them. So, I actually rate this recipe as good :)

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Jill October 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm

So funny. I spent a summer in Dublin during law school and my best food memory is the falafel we got from a little stand down in Temple Bar. Not that Dublin is the gastronomical equivalent of Paris by any stretch, but still. It’s counterintuitive.

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Angie November 10, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Hi! I just found this recipe on Pinterest. I had to tell you that I was in Paris 6 years ago, and I ate at that same shop in the Latin Quarter. I didn’t have the falafel, but I still drool when I think about the food I did have.

This recipe looks great! I can’t wait to try it!

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ciaochow November 27, 2012 at 5:08 pm

YES!! L’As du Falafel was one of the best food experiences of my life! I can’t wait to go back AND to try this recipe. Thanks!

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rachel February 4, 2013 at 8:16 pm

I love your blog! I found you on pinterest and am really looking forward to trying some more recipes. I made this recipe tonight for dinner and it was pretty darn good- love that it’s a no-fry option for falafel :) I doubled the recipe so that we could have leftovers and found the mix to be pretty dry. In your pictures your falafels look moist. Would you add something to make them less dry, or go lighter on the flour? Thanks!

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admin February 4, 2013 at 10:27 pm

Thanks Rachel!

Hmm, I wonder if adding an egg to this recipe would be a good binder and moistening agent. If not that, I’d say a good addition to the falafel mix would be 2-3 tablespoons of yogurt or sour cream.

I really appreciate you trying the recipe and I’m thankful for your honest review!

Andie

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Ali March 13, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Hey Andie! I came across your blog today and I’ve been poring over recipes to plan my meals for next week. On a relevant note, I’m studying abroad in Paris this semester—I think the place you’re talking about is called L’As du Falafel. After reading your review I’m definitely going to check it out!

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Em April 16, 2013 at 9:19 am

I just made these and they were a huge hit! I didn’t have any pita’s, so I made big falafel salads. It was a huge hit with the meat-loving husband!

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Jessica April 23, 2013 at 6:10 pm

I’m guessing you drain the water from the chickpeas? I am staring at a thick, unmoldable paste in my kitchen…

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Andie Mitchell April 23, 2013 at 10:27 pm

Hi Jessica,

Yes, you do drain them, and I’m sorry that I hadn’t mentioned that in the process. I just edited the recipe.

Andie

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Stephanie May 8, 2013 at 11:44 pm

I have to go on record as saying this was DELICIOUS AND I’M SO GLAD I TRIED IT. I ended up modifying the tahini sauce a bit, because mine didn’t end up like the photos; I must have had a different tahini paste to start with. I mixed in some nonfat Greek yogurt until I got a silky consistency, and I ended up adding a clove of crushed garlic (because my household adores garlic).

Once again. Just fantastic.

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Ahonui May 12, 2013 at 4:42 am

No way! I KNOW your falafel man! I lived on blvd St. Michel & we stopped at this place all the time! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Also, my roommate also had some confusion with Paris. She was trying to notify her bank before she moved, and she said that she was moving to Paris. The operator responded with “Paris, Ohio; Paris, Texas; Paris, Michigan; or Paris, Kentucky?” (Btw, I don’t remember where all these other Paris’ were, so I’m making them up….)
Her response…
“Uh…the one in France?”

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Camille June 3, 2013 at 4:32 am

I agree the flavors are here but it’s too dry. I will add some oil to the mix to give it some moisture for the next batch.

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Allie January 6, 2014 at 8:52 pm

I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. I studied abroad in Paris and I still dream about the falafel there! It is totally drool-worthy. Hopefully this recipe will help :)

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Aqiyl Aniys March 28, 2014 at 7:05 pm

Baked + Falafel= Yes! I love falafel but do try to stay away from them because most falafels I come in contact with are fried, and I minimize my friend foods. Baked falafels are awesome though. Your falafels look very tasty. Thanks for the recipe.

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