Recipe: Falafel, tahini and salad

Here's the secret to the perfect falafel - you'll want to make them on repeat

  • place PRE 20 minutes (plus 8 hours soaking) for the falafel + 20 minutes for salad and sauce
  • place COOK 10 minutes
  • place SERVES Makes about 20
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The key to success is to use dried chickpeas soaked overnight. Tinned chickpeas go soggy and tend to fall apart while cooking. You’ll need a food processor or blender. It's worth making the traditional fixin's to serve with these delicious crunchy nuggetes, but if you're short on time, skip the sauce and salad and serve with shop-bought hummus.


  • Soak the chickpeas overnight in cold water.

  • For the tahini sauce: blitz the tahini, lemon juice and garlic in a blender or food processor until smooth. Gradually add up to 200ml water (approx.) depending on the consistency you prefer. Ideally it should be like runny honey. Taste and adjust seasoning.

  • For the salad: soak the red onion (if using) in a small bowl of cold water with a pinch of salt.

  • Shake the chopped tomatoes on the board to remove some but not all of the excess seeds and juice. Add to the cucumbers and parsley.

  • Rinse and drain the onion. Mix everything in a salad bowl with the lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Mix well, season to taste and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil just before serving.

  • For the falafel: drain the chickpeas and blitz in a food processor or blender with the onion, paprika, cumin, garlic, parsley, coriander and salt. Mix to a fine consistency. Add more salt or seasoning to taste. Add the bicarbonate of soda and pulse another couple of times.

  • Transfer to a bowl, fold in the sesame seeds, cover and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes (longer if you need/want). Make 20 smallish compact balls, discs or ovals with your hands or a falafel scoop.

  • Warm the oil in a frying pan or shallow saucepan and when hot (about 150°C) add a few falafel balls in a single layer. Shallow fry each side over medium heat for about 2 minutes per side. Or deep fry for 3-4 minutes for a really crunchy coating.

  • Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a sieve over a bowl or plate to drain the oil. Fry the remaining falafel.

  • Serve warm and crisp as they are or with the tahini, Israeli salad and pita.

    Instagram: silvia_nacamulli


300g dry chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 small onion, quartered
1 tbsp sweet/mild paprika
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 garlic clove, crushed
20g fresh parsley
10g fresh coriander
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 ½ tbsp sesame seeds/toasted sesame seeds
500ml light olive or sunflower oil to fry

For the tahini sauce:
200g tahini
Juice of 1 lemon (approx. 40-50ml)
½ clove garlic, crushed (optional)
¼ tsp caraway or cumin
½ tsp salt

For the salad:
½ small red onion, finely chopped (optional)
300g good quality cherry or small plum tomatoes, diced 1x1cm
300g cucumber, seeded and diced 1x1 cm
10g fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
5-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp. lemon juice
Sea salt to taste (I use about ½ teaspoon)

To serve (optional)
Finely chopped parsley
Pita bread

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