Chickpea falafel

Chickpea falafel

Elisa Watson

This staple Israeli street food has reached gastronomic heights. Along with traditional green falafel, I’ve seen red, cauliflower and even mushroom falafel. Some things never change – falafel still tastes best with tahini, pickles and, for me, loads of chilli.


Quantity Ingredient
440g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in cold water
1 small red onion, roughly chopped
3 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 bunch coriander (cilantro) leaves and stems, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
3 tablespoons white sesame seeds
3 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 tablespoons salt
grapeseed oil, for deep-frying
see method for ingredients, to serve
Tahini dip, to serve


  1. Drain the chickpeas. Transfer to a large bowl with the remaining ingredients, except the grapeseed oil, and mix well.
  2. Working in batches, blend the mixture in a food processor until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Test the mixture to see if it will hold together by squeezing a small amount of mixture between your fingers. If it doesn’t, blend for a little longer. Shape the mixture into 35 g (1¼ oz) discs or torpedos.
  3. Half-fill a deep-fryer or large heavy-based saucepan with grapeseed oil. Heat the oil to 180°C (350°F) or until bubbles form around the handle of a wooden spoon when dipped in the oil. Deep-fry the falafel, in batches, for 4 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack with paper towel underneath to catch the excess oil.
  4. Serve warm with Israeli pickles and tahini.
Jewish cooking
Chicken soup
Yom kippur
Dinner party
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