Grind up some chickpeas, add garlic, parsley and coriander, and fry until crunchy. According to some, it's a recipe as old as the Bible. In all likelihood, it's even older, having started out in Egypt as a dish made with fava beans. But even today, falafel's origins are in dispute. Some Israelis claim it as an ancient Jewish food, while many Palestinians bristle at the idea. Cooler heads maintain that falafel is a regional delicacy, not a religious one. But politics are of little consequence when you're standing on the sidewalk at lunchtime waiting for your favorite vendor to wrap some pita bread around a selection of pickled beets, tahini sauce, fresh veggies and, above all, crispy, delicious falafel.