Here’s our expert guide to falafel, how to make the perfect falafel along with easy falafel recipes. Try one of these ideas for a vegetarian midweek meal, including a fab falafel burger recipe. Our falafel recipes make great vegetarian entertaining ideas, too.
Guide to falafel
Falafels make the basis for a great quick, vegan meal (healthy aswell if you make baked falafel rather than deep fried). Falafel are great stuffed into pittas or flatbreads with pickled cabbage, hummus and hot sauce or as the main ingredient in a grain or salad bowl .
What’s in falafel?
Falafel are traditionally made in the Middle East from dried chickpeas or broad beans but most of our recipes start with a tin of drained chickpeas for speed. Flavourings include ground spices like cumin and coriander, chilli, garlic and chopped herbs such as parsley and coriander.
You can also make veggie-based falafel such as sweet potato. They contain the same flavourings as regular falafel and have a similar texture but don’t contain any chickpeas so they are a lot lighter. Alternatively you can add extra veg such as carrot or spinach to your falafel.
How to make falafel
Making falafel is really easy. Chickpeas are blended in a food processer with spices, herbs and a binder (usually gram flour or plain flour). These are then rolled into little balls or patties and left to chill for a while to set. Once set the falafel are deep or shallow fried until crisp and golden on the outside and hot and fluffy within.
How to bake falafel
If you’d like to make your falafel a little healthier it’s easy to bake them rather than fry. Line a baking tray with baking paper and put the falafels well spaced apart on top. Spray with spray oil and bake at around 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 for 10-15 minutes until browned and crisped up on the outside.
Try our take on the Middle Eastern classic, falafels. Use up your leftover carrots to give these delightful balls a lighter taste and texture. What’s more, they’re low calorie and full of flavour, and of course carrots can help you to see in the dark, even in falafel form. Bonus!
A great low-calorie recipe for vegetarians. A hearty chickpea burger stuffed into a pitta pocket. For a smoky flavour, try cooking these easy-to-make falafel on the BBQ then serve in warm pitta with traditional pickled chillies.