Falafel is enjoyed all over the world, it is a very delicious middle-eastern appetizer that can be found in many countries like Jerusalem, Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon, and Syria. Falafel is made from Fava beans or chickpeas and contains many herbs and spices like sumac, cumin, garlic, and parsley. It is rolled into a ball, then it is deep fried until golden brown and crispy.
Falafel can be eaten in a wrap, served alongside hummus, or it can be enjoyed on a bed of rice. The options are Endless.
In recent years, this popular appetizer made itself to the west and is enjoyed here in the United States. One particular restaurant that serves these delicious and crispy falafels is at The Halal Guys.
From humble beginnings, The Halal Guys started as a hot dog cart in New York City. As their business grew, they realized that there was a large demand for halal food that has been requested from multiple Muslim cab drivers. The three founding partners soon tossed out the hot dogs and replaced it with the now famous halal chicken and gyro platter served with rice.
The Halal Guys serve a certified vegan falafel that is deliciously wrapped in a pita wrap or it can be served on a bed of spiced rice, alongside crunchy lettuce, and fresh tomatoes. Lastly, it is drizzled with their signature white sauce created from a dairy-free mayonnaise base, herbs, and spices.
Tammy Guadagno is the owner of The Halal Guys restaurant located in Milwaukee. She is passionate about serving certified vegan falafel to the Milwaukee community.
“We cook the falafel away from the meat to make sure it holds the integrity of being vegan because we know that it is super important. We even place the pita in its own place, away from the meat, to make sure that it remains vegan. We understand that it’s not always easy to find vegan food ” Guadagno said.
Mrs. Guadagno expresses how her employees have diverse dietary preferences. Two of these employees are vegan. By offering certified vegan falafels wraps and platters, it allows her to fulfill the need for both preferences.
“It’s an exciting business. I remember three years ago when I first had The Halal Guys in New York City, at the parks. I went with some friends who always spoke great things about it. When I first saw the line, it was so crazy long. The lines moved fast and the food was worth it.” Tammy said.
Tammy used to go The Halal Guys with her friends when The Halal Guys opened their first location in California.
“I used to go there all the time with my friends. Meanwhile, I wanted to move to Milwaukee and when The Halal Guys contacted me about being the new owner of a restaurant located in Milwaukee, it was the greatest opportunity.” Tammy said.
For those who crave Mediterranean food, The Halal Guys is definitely a place to visit.
Below is a recipe for how to make delicious deep-fried falafel.
- 2 cups chickpeas, soaked for 12 hours Do not use canned
- 1/2 medium onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup fresh dill
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp quinoa flour
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
1.) Soak the chickpeas overnight. Soak for a minimum of 12 hours for best results.
2.)Transfer chickpeas into a food processor, work in batches if needed. Add the ingredients; baking powder, cumin, tahini, fresh garlic, parsley, dill, onion, and sesame seeds, olive oil, salt & pepper, and pulse until a smooth consistency.
3.) Shape the falafel, scoop the falafel into 1 tbsp size balls and place it onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet and place them into the freezer for 30 minutes. (this will hold the falafel hold their shape during the frying process)
4.) Fry 2-3 falafel at a time to ensure the falafels have plenty of space to get golden brown, approximately 3-4 minutes per batch.
5.) Serve with warm pitta bread topped with tzatziki sauce or a side hummus, Enjoy.
Step 1: Soak the chickpeas for a minimum of 12 hours
Step 2: Transfer chickpeas into a food processor, work in batches if needed. Add the ingredients; baking powder, cumin, tahini, fresh garlic, parsley, dill, onion, and sesame seeds, olive oil, salt & pepper. pulse until a smooth consistency.
Step: 3 Pulse until a smooth consistency.
Step 4: Shape the falafel, scoop the falafel into 1 tbsp size balls and place it onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet and place them into the freezer for 30 minutes. (this will hold the falafel hold their shape during the frying process)
Step 5: Fry 2-3 falafel at a time to ensure the falafels have plenty of space to get golden brown, approximately 3-4 minutes per batch.