Falafel with Tahini Sauce

June 25, 2010  •  Appetizers, Beans & Grains, Vegetables

I’ve been staring at a recipe for falafel from epicurious.com for weeks now, intent on making some. Falafel doesn’t win any points for food photography (and it doesn’t help that I snapped this shot just as guests were arriving for my cocktail party last night), but at least you’ll get the idea.Falafel starts with a can of chickpeas that are drained and rinsed.They get pulsed in the food processor with a bunch of goodies like parsley, cilantro, onion, garlic and spices before flour (or bulgur wheat) is added as a binder to hold it all together. I used flour, and found I needed quite a bit more than I thought to get a dough that would hold together in balls.You can either serve the falafel with just the tahini dipping sauce or you can stuff them into pita bread pockets, using the tahini sauce instead of mayo and filling them with diced peppers, onions and tomatoes. These are a great appetizer for a party if you make them small enough to eat from a toothpick! Fry them up the day before and reheat in the oven before serving.

Falafel with Tahini Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Appetizer,Entree
Serves: 20
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup flour, or more if needed
  • canola oil, for frying
  • 3 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  1. Place chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, red pepper, cumin, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until well mixed but not completely pureed. Add baking powder and flour, pulsing to incorporate. Try making a ball with the dough - if it's still very sticky, add more flour, about a tablespoon at a time, until the dough holds into a ball. Refrigerate dough for 2 or more hours. Add 3 inches of oil to a high sided saute pan and heat to 375 degrees. Use a small ice cream or cookie scoop to form balls and cook about 6 at a time, turning regularly until they are well browned overall and cooked through, about 5 minutes total. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with a paper towel and repeat with remaining dough.
  2. Combine all remaining ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Serve as dipping sauce for falafel.


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