A Belgian-style falafel waffle with merguez, yogurt, pickled onion and parsley. A Belgian-style falafel waffle with merguez, yogurt, pickled onion and parsley. A Belgian-style falafel waffle with merguez, yogurt, pickled onion and parsley. (Photo: Arnold Gatilao / Flickr)

Introducing: The falafel waffle

We're celebrating International Waffle Day with a look at one of the waffle maker's most impressive feats: waffled falafel.

Wafalafel. Fawaffle. Waffled falafel. Falafel waffle. It goes by many catchy names, and as far as we're concerned, it's the best thing that has ever come out of a waffle maker. Period.

There are two main approaches to the waffled falafel: as a way to more efficiently create a sandwich, and as an actual waffle that acts as a base for all manner of delicious toppings.

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Cooking Channel's Dan Pashman wasn't sure if the current mode of eating falafel is the best way; in the video below, he experiments with more creative ways to eat falafel sandwiches – with a hilarious analysis to boot. Teaming up with our favorite Falafel Queen, Israeli chef Einat Admony of New York City's Taïm, Pashman pushes the boundaries of falafel as we know it. Skip forward to 2:21 to see the waffle maker magic in action!

If that's not a thing of beauty, we don't know what is. And as a wonderful bonus, Pashman points out, the waffle's wells are the perfect comfy home for Israeli salad and sauces. The result? An epic sandwich with the falafel as the bread. Naturally, it was a big hit.

Serious Eats had a similar idea, trying out different ways to transform pre-cooked falafel with a waffle maker.

Falafel balls in waffle makerFalafel balls pressed in a waffle maker. (Photo: Robyn Lee/Flickr)

But as it happens, falafel balls pressed into the waffle maker didn't cut it. Instead, they put the whole sandwich in the waffle maker, stuffed pita and all. The resulting panini-falafel-waffle combo is a crispy, hot transformation that we can certainly get behind – and it's easy, too.

Falafel waffles with sauce, tomato, cucumber and fresh herbsFalafel waffles served with sauce. (Photo: Don't Lose Your Lunch/Flickr)

Then there's the standalone falafel waffle, which can be eaten like a savory version of the originals, or enjoyed as part of a sandwich. As Food Network points out in their waffled falafel recipe, it's a much healthier alternative to the deep-fried original.

So how do you waffle a falafel? Take a recipe like our easy Israeli Kitchen version, let the batter set for a few minutes to absorb the water, grease your waffle iron and fill most of it up – leave about 1/4 of the waffle iron still showing, or else it will make a big mess. Food Network recommends cooking for 6 to 10 minutes. Top with hummus, tzatziki, Israeli salad, or grab it Eggo style and eat your falafel on the go. Because with fawaffle, anything's possible.


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Related Topics: Healthy eating