Falafel sandwich, a tasty spicy snack, has its origin in the Mediterranean region. Sandwiches often constitute the lunch. Falafel sandwich is now available in almost all corners of the world. Scroll down to know calories in different types of falafel sandwiches as well as their nutrition facts….
It is believed that falafel was first made in Egypt and then it gained popularity in all countries in the Middle East. Falafel is now the national dish of Israel. A falafel is a small fried ball, a type of patty. It is made from ground chickpeas and/or fava beans. The balls are usually served with green salad and pickled vegetables. Hot tahini sauce is poured over them before serving. These balls are enjoyed alone as a snack or they are specially prepared as a part of festive meals. Falafel are inserted in a pita bread or they are wrapped in a flat bread called lafa. A falafel sandwich is nothing but falafel balls within a pita bread or bread slices, served with fresh vegetables, pickled vegetables and sauces.
How Many Calories a Falafel Sandwich Has
If you are interested in knowing calories in falafel, then let me inform you that according to the USDA National Nutrient Database, one falafel (approx of 2¼” dia, weighing 17 gm) contains about 57 calories. Falafel sandwich calories may vary according to the type of bread used, size of the bread and the balls, type and quantity of other ingredients used and the method of preparation. One homemade falafel may also contain about 60 calories.
|Falafel sandwich with hummus||1 whole wheat pita sandwich||631|
|Homemade falafel (balls)||100 g||333|
|Pita bread sandwich containing falafel, and standard fresh and pickled vegetables with sauces||1 serving||500|
|Falafel sandwich with tahini sauce||1 serving||409|
|Maoz falafel sandwich||1 serving||510|
|Whole wheat pita bread||1 large (6½” diameter, weighing about 64 gm)||170|
|Falafel mix||¼th cup – 35 gm||120|
Falafel sandwich may contain calories between 270 to 700, depending upon the ingredients used. Adding cheese to the sandwich can lead to an increase in calories. Chickpeas and fava beans provide protein while the bread provides carbohydrates. Vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. The sandwich also contains some amount of fat as the balls are fried in oil. Falafel sandwich is usually high in sodium and hence should be consumed in moderation. It is considered as a complete meal and so there is no need to serve it with other dishes. You can add more vegetables and less falafel to reduce the calories in falafel sandwich. Here is an easy recipe for falafel sandwich.
Falafel Sandwich Recipe
- Fava beans or chickpeas, soaked overnight: 3 cups. Remove the hard skin if present.
- Garlic paste: half tsp.
- Finely chopped onion: 1 large
- Baking soda: 1 tbsp (add it to the beans before frying)
- Cumin powder: One and half tsp.
- Black pepper powder: Half tsp
- Some fresh cilantro leaves
- Chopped parsley: 1 cup
- Yogurt: half cup
- Chopped tomato: 1 medium
- Tahini sauce or sesame seed paste: 1/4th cup
- Lemon juice of 1 small lemon
- All-purpose flour: 2-3 tbsp
- Vegetable oil to fry the balls.
- Salt: 1 tbsp
- Sliced pickles
- Hot pickled peppers like pepperoncini
- Pita bread
- Rinse the beans, drain well. With the help of a food processor, make a paste and add onion, garlic, cumin, pepper, cilantro to it. Mix well. Add salt and baking soda to the mixture and mix well again. Mix the flour and make small balls (approx of 2¼” dia.).
- Press the balls gently so that about half inch thick patties would be ready to fry. Deep-fry them in hot vegetable oil. The balls will turn golden brown when ready. Remove them from the oil and drain them on the kitchen paper.
- Mix tahini, yogurt, lemon juice and salt. The mixture should be smooth, without clumps. Then add to it tomato and parsley. Mix well.
- Open the pita bread, spread some sauce (above mixture) and put 2-3 falafel balls in it. Add green vegetables of your own choice and serve with pickles and pepperonicini.
In homemade falafel sandwich, you can change the ingredients as per your wish. Thus, you can lower the calories in the sandwich and can maintain your daily calorie intake. If you don’t have pita bread, you can use normal sandwich bread. If you don’t have tahini sauce, you can use any other sauce of your own choice. I am sure, both children and adults in the family would enjoy yummy falafel sandwiches, this weekend.