When you think falafel you think street food right? They are so much more than that. Falafel are a great meat free meal idea that’s incredibly easy to make at home. Nourishing, filling, and versatile, you can’t go wrong with homemade falafel.
An ancient Middle Eastern dish, falafel are traditionally a patty or ball of chickpeas (my favorite) or fava beans. You can either fry them or baked them in the oven.
Packed full of nutrients like fiber, protein, and folate the falafel is a great addition to any vegetarian diet. It’s often found in pita bread with lettuce and tahini dressing. I have been known to serve them up as a snack or as part of a nutritious salad bowl.
Like many dishes that are made in my kitchen, this recipe kind of evolved through trial and error. It began with one recipe that merged with some others. This doesn’t always happen because of taste. Sometimes is because I have to make do with what I’ve got in the pantry.
Shout out to tinned chickpeas for convenience and lemon zest for extra kick. I also like to grate some carrot in there. When I first started making these I was trying to sneak more veggies into the kid’s diet and the addition kind of stuck. Not only does the carrot provide an extra vitamin boost but it gives a lovely sweetness that balances the nutty chickpeas.
The following recipe is my favorite way to cook and eat the humble falafel. What’s your favorite falafel recipe?
Super Simple Falafel
1 x 400g tin chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1/2 small red onion (chopped)
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 medium carrot (grated)
Rind and juice of 1/2 a lemon
small handful of parsley (chopped)
about 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
- Put your chickpeas, carrot, onion, garlic, and parsley into a food processor and pulse the ingredients a few times so they start to break down and mix together.
- Next, add your lemon juice, lemon rind, salt and pepper to the food processor and mix on a medium setting until all the veggies have broken down.
- Remove the blade from the mixing bowl – we’re going to do the rest by hand. Crack your egg into the bowl with the mixed veggies and using a fork, gently mix through. You should have a kind of gluggie mixture.
- Now add about 1/2 the breadcrumbs and stir through. You will see the mixture change texture and firm up. Add some more breadcrumbs and keep stirring. Your falafel mixture is ready when it’s no longer too sticky but kind of smooth and can be shaped into patties.
- To shape your patties, take a heaped teaspoon full of the mixture and roll it around in your hand until you’ve got a small patty shape (about 5cm diameter). Place the prepared patty onto a baking tray and keep going until all the mixture is gone.
- Once you’ve prepared all your patties pop the baking tray in the fridge for around 1/2 hour to allow them to set.
- When you’re ready to cook your falafels take a large non-stick fry pan and generously cover the bottom with vegetable oil (around 3 tablespoons). Put your pan on a medium heat and slowly heat the oil so that it’s hot but not super hot. Batch fry your falafel slowly so they become lovely and golden on both sides before removing them to a paper towel-covered plate to drain. Can be enjoyed both hot and cold. Will last several days in the fridge.