Falafel ( Arabic: فلافل, ) is a deep-fried ball or patty-shaped fritter in Middle Eastern cuisine made from ground chickpeas, broad beans, or both. Nowadays, falafel is often served in a pita, which acts as a pocket, samoon, or wrapped in a flatbread known as taboon; "falafel" also frequently refers to a wrapped sandwich that is prepared in this way. The falafel balls may be topped with salads, pickled vegetables, hot sauce, and drizzled with tahini-based sauces. Falafel balls may also be eaten alone as a snack or served as part of a meze tray (assortment of appetizers).
Falafel is eaten throughout the Middle East and is a common street food. Falafel is usually made with fava beans in Egypt, where it most likely originated, and with chickpeas in the Levant and Iraq. It is popular with vegetarians worldwide.