Warm spiced Chickpea Falafel recipe – baked instead of fried, and served with a creamy, tangy and nutty Lemon Tahini sauce


1 cup dried chickpeas (3 cups cooked or 2  cans)
2 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
small handful of fresh parsley, trimmed and chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
2 red or green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sesame oil
sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

Lemon tahini sauce:
1/2 cup tahini
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
water to thin as needed
sea salt to taste

How To
Rinse the chickpeas and soak for 8 hours or overnight in enough water to cover. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a medium saucepan and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the chickpeas are tender – 1 to 1/2 hours. Drain and transfer to a food processor.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Add the remaining falafel ingredients to the food processor and process until smooth. The mixture should be thick and fairly dry, but if necessary, add a bit more oil. If it is too moist, add a bit of chickpea flour. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Shape the chilled falafel mixture into small 1-inch balls and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 190C oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown, turning them part way through the baking time.

While the falafel is baking, prepare the tahini sauce. Whisk together all of the ingredients in a medium bowl until creamy. Add water as needed to thin out the mixture.

Serve the falafel hot with the lemon tahini sauce on the side. The falafel can be served in pita pockets with chopped tomato and dill pickle along with the sauce.

As an alternative to the lemon tahini sauce, you can serve falafel with a yogurt sauce made by whisking together 1 1/4 cups plain yogurt, 1/4 cup tahini, juice from 1 large lemon (3 tablespoons), and sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.

You may also wish to serve the falafel with hummus, cooked quinoa and salad for a complete and satisfying meal.


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Lisa’s Vegetarian Kitchen (Lisa’s Vegetarian Kitchen) / CC BY 2.5