Tips for Making Falafel Hot Sauce

Falafel with hot sauce
NukelarBurrito / Flickr / CC By 2.0
  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 16 Servings
Ratings (33)

Falafel hot sauce can be drizzled into a falafel pita sandwich or used for dipping.

What Makes the Sauce Hot

One of the main ingredients in this hot sauce recipe is harissa, which is a hot chili paste that is commonly found in North African cooking, mainly Moroccan, Algerian, and Tunisian cuisine. It is added to couscous, soups, pastas, and other recipes. It can also be purchased in Middle Eastern stores in a can.

For a very spicy harissa: use a blend of cayenne, chile de arbol, or cayenne with a milder chile like ancho chilies. For a medium spiciness: use a blend of New Mexico chilies with guajillo chilies.

What Falafel Is

Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty that is made from chickpeas or fava beans and spices. It is a vegetarian food and is one of the most widely consumed and recognized foods of the Middle East

Falafel is very popular in the Middle East as a fast food. Vendors sell it on the street corners is most popular in countries like Israel, Egypt, and Syria. It is regarded as a "fast food" and sold like hot dogs by street vendors. Falafel is also the national dish of Israel.

As a main dish, it is served as a sandwich, stuffed in pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes, and tahini. As an appetizer, it is served on a salad, or with hummus and tahini. Most of the time served with hot sauce. 

Falafel is a favorite among vegetarians. The spices are important and should be personalized to taste. This recipe is a traditional method of cooking falafel. It can be time-consuming because of having to soak the beans overnight. (No time to make your own falafel? Check out our favorite falafel mixes.) 

What You'll Need

  • 3/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon harissa (see below) or hot sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

How to Make It

In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 15 -20 minutes. Stir frequently.

Serve falafel hot sauce immediately as a dip for falafel or drizzle onto falafel pita sandwich. Falafel hot sauce is great at room temperature and even cold!

Store in refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
23 Calories
0g Fat
5g Carbs
1g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)