Easy Falafel

by Barry Lewis


2 x 400g tins of chickpeas in water

1 onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

Handful of coriander, chopped

Handful of parsley, chopped

½ tsp cayenne pepper

Good pinch of salt and pepper

2tsp ground cumin

4tbsp flour (you may need more)

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp baking powder

Oil for frying


To serve

100g plain yoghurt

Lemon zest

100g tahini


Warmed pitta breads

1 red onion, diced

Cucumber, sliced into small pieces

1 tomato, thinly sliced

Small bowl lettuce, chopped and washed

Falafel are one of those things that we tend to take for granted here at home, I have to be honest I was not super excited about making this Lebanese falafel recipe compared to say, an enormous chocolate cake. But I was wrong, these are actually really fun to make and they taste deliciously fresh, so much better than store bought, plus they are vegetarian / vegan friendly too – hope you try them!

So the first thing to tell you is the chickpeas I used are ones in a tin can, in water. Authentic ones tend to use dried chickpeas soaked in water overnight, so I did the opposite. Take your tinned chickpeas and put them into a sieve and drain off the excess water, dry them too if you like, you want them dry ideally, or you’ll need more flour later.

Get yourself a food processor and whizz up the chickpeas until smooth and generally lump free, it should be a paste like texture. Now add in the garlic, onion, coriander and parsley and whizz again. It should smell really good! If you don’t have enough room for all this do it in smaller batches, or take out the chickpeas and whizz the rest of the ingredients separately then mix together.

Add in the cayenne pepper, cumin, salt and flour and mix well in a large bowl with a spatula. You want the mixture to be mouldable, so ensure that you can do that with your hands before proceeding. If it’s too wet, add some more flour to dry it out, a tbsp at a time making sure you mix it through well. Do not add the baking powder and bicarbonate soda just yet. Get the oil hot first.

In a deep saucepan warm the oil carefully, drop in a piece of falafel batter and if it bubbles gently, turn the heat down low to keep it at a steady temperature.

Mix in the baking powder and bicarbonate soda, then shape the mixture into golf ball size balls, placing on a chopping board until done. Once ready fry them in small batches until lightly golden, placing on kitchen towel once done and working on the others, allow to cool.

The insides should be soft and fluffy but the outside golden and crunchy! Serve as they are or if you wish mix together the yoghurt, tahini and lemon zest and spready this in a warmed pitta bread with some lettuce, red onion, tomato, cucumber and some falafel balls.

These absolutely blew my mind!