Spicy Falafels


Recipe: Spicy Falafels

Falafel is very popular in the Middle East as a fast food. Vendors sell it on the street corners in Cairo. As a main dish, it is served as a sandwich, stuffed in pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes, and tahini. As an appetizer, it is served on a salad, or with hummus and tahini. Falafel is a favorite among vegetarians.


  • 1 lb dried chick peas (garbanzo beans), soaked in water overnight
  • 2 red or Spanish onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 large bunch of parsley
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • Kosher salt and cayenne pepper to taste
  • Canola or Peanut oil for frying
  • Pita
  • 12 whole grain pitas
  • 1 cup lettuce
  • 3 tomatoes sliced


  1. Drain the chick peas from water, along with the onion, garlic, parsley, place ingredients into the bowl of food processor or blender and pulse until the texture is that of a coarse, moist meal.
  2. Add the cumin, coriander, sesame seeds, cayenne and salt to the ground mixture. Stir to distribute the spice and allow the mixture to rest for at least a 1/2 hour at room temperature. Taste a small amount for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
  3. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. With slightly moistened hands, take about 2 tablespoons of the rested falafel mixture and gently roll into flat, round shapes, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place the falafel on the lined sheet pan and repeat with the remaining mix. Allow rolled falafel balls to rest at least another 15 minutes at room temperature before frying.
  4. Pour oil into a 4-qt. skillet to a depth of 2″ and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350˚. Working in batches, fry the falafel until they are a dark, rich brown color, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining falafel.
  5. Serve the falafel warm or at room temperature along with tahini sauce for drizzling.


1-3 cloves garlic, to taste Kosher salt, to taste

Juice of 2 1/2 lemons, or more to taste

1/4 pint tahini paste

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin


Crush the garlic with salt to for a paste. Mix it with a little of the lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the tahini paste and mix well. Add the remaining lemon juice and enough cold water to achieve a thick, smooth cream, beating vigorously. Season with salt and cumin; taste and add more lemon juice, garlic or salt until the flavor is fairly strong and tart. Add a few more drops water if too thick.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 5 minute(s)

Makes about 2 dozen

Recipe and Photo Courtesy of BBC Good Food

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