Recipe: Felafel

I can’t believe that I’ve been writing a semi-vegetarian blog for more than three years now and have never posted a felafel recipe.  How have I not yet been drummed out of the Union?  Anyway, making up for lost time, here is a slightly approximate recipe for felafels, as made for the Great Nearly Vegan BBQ a couple of days before my best friend’s wedding.  It’s approximate because I just kept throwing things into the thermomix until they tasted right, but I’m fairly confident that these quantities are right.

This recipe makes a fair bit of felafel – I got about 15-18 patties out of it.

Also, it’s very tasty.  And very easy to make in a food processor.


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3 x 400g tins of chickpeas
1 bunch coriander
1 bunch parsley
1 bulb roasted garlic
1 tbsp ground coriander seed
1-2 tbsp ground cumin
1 fresh chilli, chopped
1-2 tsp chilli flakes
1-2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves fresh garlic

Now what will you do with it?

Put everything in the food processor until it comes together into a nice dough.  I’m in favour of having some chunks of chickpea in the dough, and some big bits of herbs, but if you are not, just process a little longer.

Taste the dough, and adjust the spices until it has the flavour you like.  The dough should be easy to roll into little patties – not very sticky, but quite coherent and not dry.  You can add olive oil, water, or lemon juice to moisten it if you need to.

Form the dough into 15-18 round patties that fit nicely into the curled palm of your hand.  Refrigerate until you are ready to cook them.

Now you have choices.  We brushed these with a little oil and cooked them on the barbecue plate; you could also bake them in the oven with a little olive oil spray, or fry them on the stove – either in just a little oil, or you could go the traditional shallow- or deep-frying route, in which case you will want to put them onto a plate lined with paper towels to catch some of the oil.  Honestly, I find baking is the easiest.

Serve with flat bread and lots of dips and salads.



We live just around the corner from Half Moon Café, which is justly famous for its Egyptian-style felafel, made with fava beans.  So I think cooked fava beans would definitely be a worthwhile variation to investigate here.  The spices and herbs can be played with – mint might be nice in here, or paprika, or sumac, or a little tahini, or finely chopped roast peppers – go wild!

This recipe is gluten-free, vegan, nut-free and low GI.  It is not low in FODMAPs because of all the chickpeas, and if those weren’t enough of a problem, the garlic would probably get you in any case.



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