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Reader’s Recipe: Becky’s Lighter Falafel

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Mmmmmm falafel.  There are few things tastier than those little deep-fried balls of crunchiness, and the flavours of the salads and sauces that they come with are pretty special as well.  Our reader Becky has helpfully given us a recipe for falafel that avoids deep-frying, and makes it a healthier choice.  It’s also an easy and quick recipe as you can feck everything in the blender.


  • 1 400g tin of chickpeas- rinsed
  • 1 small onion roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • half lemon juiced – lime also works
  • 1tsp each of cumin and coriander powder
  • 1 chilli chopped, or 1 tsp of chilli flakes (adjust to your own heat preferences)
  • 1 tsp harrissa paste – can be left out but so lovely if you can find it. I usually get it in Tesco
  • Small bunch of chopped fresh coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional – handful of toasted sunflower seeds


  1. Put all ingredients in a bowl and blitz with a hand blender or food processor until fairly smooth.  If you’re using sunflower seeds leave half un-blitzed and stir in at the end for texture.
  2. Shape into patties (the mixture should make 6-8), lightly oil and cook on a  griddle pan or frying pan for a few minutes each side. They also cook nicely in the oven but will be a little drier.
  3. Serve in a pitta or a wrap, with salad and yoghurt dressing and a little harrissa paste if you have it. YUM!

Thanks so much Becky! These sound fantastic and I’m going to try them as soon as I’ve soaked me chickpeas.

You could also add finely chopped red onion, fresh coriander and hummus to the pitta, or serve the falafel as part of a mezze dinner. Harissa paste is usually available in Halal shops; I got a handy tube for only a euro recently, in the Mediterranean Food Market on Thomas St.


  1. Love falafel, its a great veggie meal thats uber cheap but tastes like a treat, where you don’t miss meat at all. I think traditionally though, its made with pre soaked but uncooked chickpeas? Whereas the tinned chickpeas are pre cooked. Mark Bittman waxes lyrical about it here:

  2. Mmmmh, falafels. Thanks for this recipe. You can get harissa paste in the ethnic shops in town (Camden street has loads)
    Sarah, you’re right, it’s traditionally made with soaked chickpeas, but I’ve made them with tinned ones (very well drained) and it worked

  3. I had the falafel wrap from the guys on the canal at Baggot Street – fabulous!! A fiver for a really nice and different lunch. Not sure it was ‘light’ but certainly very tasty and gives you a good idea on what to put in it…

  4. I made this again this evening with soaked but uncooked chickpeas and it was great – so easy, quick and tasty.