Falafel Becomes a Main Course

John Surico

Here in the United States, no Israeli or Middle Eastern dish has had quite the same success as falafel. This crispy chickpea croquette has achieved comfort food status everywhere. And it attracts eaters of all kinds, satisfying the appetites of both herbivores and carnivores.

As old as the region itself, falafel’s history is shrouded in mystery, but historians believe it likely originated in Egypt. Emerging trade routes then brought the ingredients and recipe to the Levant,...