Why is Falafel so popular in Israel? I tried polling falafel shop owners to find out. One told me to "just taste it" and I'd understand why poeple flock to his stand. A more humble owner told me he's in the best location. When I asked taxi drivers their opinion on the best falafel in town, each offered to drive me to his favorite spot- one "best falafel stand" was two hours away! Though falafel is Israeli's national food, most Israeli's do not attempt to make it at home. Why should they, when typical falafel sandwich costs only 7 shekels?
Those who sell falafel ususally own a secret recipe that has been passed down from father to son. One onwer told me that he had bought his shop after serving in the army. The previous owner was ready to retire, and with recipe inclucded as part of the contract, the shop now offers the former soldier the means to support his family.
For those of who live outside of Israel and yearn for the authentic falafel experience, here it is.
Leftover batter can be frozen for another time. Simply defrost and add a bit of breadcrumbs to the mixture to thicken before the balls.
Click here to see the recipe.
Recipe originally from "Fresh and Easy Kosher Cooking" by Leah Schapira. Published by Mesorah Publications.