The traditional falafel is served in pita bread, which is chametz ( grain which has risen), forbidden on Passover. But how about falafel balls?

The primary component of falafel is chickpeas (or fava beans), which are included in the general class of kitniyot, foods that Ashkenazim (and some Sephardim) may not eat on Passover. Same goes for the tahini and hummus used to garnish the falafel.

This ban was enacted because kitniyot dishes are similar to chametz. This prohibition also includes corn, beans and rice. This injunction was unanimously accepted by Ashkenazic Jews; many Sephardic Jews, however, continue to eat kitniyot on Passover (provided that they were sufficiently checked to ensure that no grain is mixed in). If you are Sephardic, speak to your rabbi to determine your family and community tradition. Even for Sephardim, of course, the falafel must be marked kosher for Passover by a reputable kosher certifying agency.

Learn more about kitniyot