Explore > Jewish Life > The Barbers' Favorite Falafel

Ginny and Tiki Barber are all-star friends of 92Y. A true Renaissance Man, Tiki Barber has appeared onstage in 92Y's Kaufmann Concert Hall to discuss his legendary football career and the three children's books he has co-authored with his brother, Rondé.

Ginny and Tiki are huge fans of falafel, the national dish of Israel, which Tiki enjoyed on a visit there as a guest of former Prime Minister and current deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres. Derived from the Arabic word for pepper, falafel consists of ground chickpeas (otherwise known as garbanzos) formed into patties and fried. Falafel is often served as a sandwich in pita bread or rolled into flatbread (commonly referred to as laffa and popular at Jerusalem's famous Mahane Yehuda market and elsewhere) with hummus, tahini and an array of fresh, pickled or fried vegetables.

  • 1/2 pound fresh chickpeas
  • 3 tablespoons cracked or bulgur wheat
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoon fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Soak chickpeas in water for 8 hours. Drain and grind. Soak wheat in water for 2 hours. Drain and grind. Mix all ingredients together. Form balls about 3/4 inch diameter. Fry with a net or in a deep fryer until golden brown. Stuff into pita or flatbread with the following (all optional): hummus; tahini sauce; a salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley and lemon juice; chili sauce; fried strips of eggplant; fried cauliflower; French fries.