This week, one of my lovely readers emailed and asked whether I could share our recipe for falafel. I was more than happy to oblige! I know I’ve posted numerous pics of our falafel in the past, so this recipe share is way overdue.
My family are huge fans of home-made falafel. They’re so versatile! You can flavour them to suit your tastes, and they’re delicious eaten hot or cold.
For a main meal, we like to wrap them in flat breads with hummus, salad, avocado, pickle and a sprinkling of shelled hemp seeds.
They also make a tasty lunch, stuffed into pitta breads.
Over the years I’ve experimented with all different kinds of flavourings, but our current favourite is Moroccan inspired, and includes warming spices such as cumin, paprika, cinnamon and ginger, as well as dates and dried apricots. Lil’ L absolutely loves these falafel, and I’m guessing the touch of Moroccan sweetness could make them particularly appealing to small kids.
I find that shop-bought falafel can have quite a dry texture (and I need to heat them up to soften them). However, for us, the texture of these home-made falafel is spot on. While it may appear a little soft when first cooked, it firms up nicely upon cooling. Rather than becoming over dry, if anything, the texture is even better the next day.
While falafel are traditionally deep fried, I prefer to pan fry them. That way, they still have a light crispy exterior, whilst using only a fraction of the oil. These are healthy falafel... the best kind 😉
Here’s how we make them:
Makes about 18 falafel balls
Hands on time: 30 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes (can be left overnight)
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Ready in: 60 minutes
I’ve made these falafel mild enough for children, but feel free to crank up the heat if you wish by adding some red chilli or harissa paste.
1 TBSP olive oil, divided
1 red onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
1 x 400g / 14 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and thoroughly drained (I use Tesco’s Organic Chick Peas which come in a tetra pak)
handful of fresh, chopped flat leaf parsley
handful of fresh, chopped coriander (cilantro)
2 TBSP chopped dates
2 TBSP chopped dried apricots
2 TBSP sesame seeds
½ tsp salt
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
90g / 3¼ oz / 1 cup rolled oats (use certified GF oats, if needed)
2 TBSP wheatgerm or flour, for coating (for a GF option, use chickpea or buckwheat flour)
Brush the bottom of a large non stick frying pan (skillet) with ½ TBSP olive oil and sauté the onions, garlic and red pepper for 2 minutes. Stir in the dry spices, then remove from the heat.
Place the contents of the frying pan, along with the chickpeas, parsley, coriander (cilantro), apricots, dates, sesame seeds, bicarbonate of soda, salt and oats in a food processor and blend to make a coarse paste. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the mixture to firm up (can be left overnight).
Coat the bottom of the frying pan with the remaining oil and heat on a medium heat. Place the wheatgerm (or flour) on a large plate. Scoop heaped tablespoons of the falafel mixture, roll lightly in the wheatgerm/flour and flatten slightly. Repeat until all the mixture is used up. Place the falafel in the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, until browned on the bottom. Flip them over and cook for a further 3 minutes, or so. The falafel will firm up as they cool.
These falafel are delicious served warm or cold in wraps, flat breads and pittas with hummus, salad, avocado and pickle. They will last up to a week in the refrigerator and weeks in the freezer.
This recipe has been submitted to Ricki Heller’s Wellness Weekend
Do you make your own falafel? If so, what’s your favourite spice mix? If you’ve got any recipes online, please do share below.
Have a great weekend everyone ♥ xx