Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern food, which is most commonly served in a pitta or flatbread alongside salad, hummus and tahini.
Falafel is particularly popular with vegetarians and vegans, as an alternative to meat, because it contains plenty of protein from plant-based sources –not to mention it is totally delicious!
If you are looking to make falafel at home, we have pulled together a really easy recipe that you can rustle up in just 20 minutes.
Is falafel good for you?
As a plant-based protein, falafel is an excellent source of fibre, which keeps you feeling full for longer.1
The main ingredient of falafel is chickpeas. Chickpeas are part of the same family as legumes and peanuts and have a buttery, creamy, nutty flavour that many people enjoy.2
Chickpeas also have a low glycemic index (GI).3 Studies suggest that a low-glycemic diet may help reduce blood pressure in adults.4
When part of a balanced diet, falafel can be a healthy option.
However, the key thing to watch with falafel is the oil used for frying them. Too much oil can add unnecessary fat and calories to your diet. And greasy foods, such as oil, can lead to weight gain and bloatedness if eaten too often.5
How to make falafel
This authentic falafel recipe only takes 20 minutes to make. It is low in carbohydrates and fat, making it both a healthy and delicious option.
This recipe is also suitable for making baked falafel, but it works better when frying.
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
Makes: 6 falafels
- 400g chickpeas
- 1 egg
- 1 small brown onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
- Drizzle of oil
Equipment you will need to make falafel:
- Large pan
- Food processor
- Washed hands
Method for making falafel:
- Heat the oil in a large pan. Once hot, add the onion and garlic and fry until softened and fragrant.
- While the onion and garlic are cooking, beat the egg.
- Let the garlic and onion cool slightly and place them into a food processer. Add the chickpeas, cumin and coriander and mix until roughly chopped. Do not make the mixture too smooth, as you need texture to mold them.
- Stir in the dried herbs with a fork until they are well incorporated.
- Add the egg and mix together with your hands.
- Shape the mixture into 6 golf-sized balls and gently flatten. Reheat the oil in the pan and, on a medium heat, cook the falafels for 3 minutes each side until golden and crisp.
Each falafel contains 105 calories and 6g of fat.
It also contains 1g of sugar, 0.27g of salt and 2g of fibre, 8g of carbohydrates and 5g of protein.
What are the best ways to eat falafel?
Now that you have got your delicious homemade falafel, you will need to decide how you are going to eat it.
Luckily, there is an endless number of ways to serve falafel. These recipes are also perfect if you are looking to make the most of your leftovers.
Get creative and enjoy a range of healthy meals with some of these out-of-the-box falafels recipes:
Falafel stuffed peppers
For a tasty meal that is low in carbs, roast sweet and tangy bell peppers and stuff them with your fried falafel.
Serve with your favourite dressing – ours is classic garlic and herb.
To roast the peppers:
- Heat your oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.
- Cut your bell peppers in half, removing the pips with a spoon.
- Line a roasting tray with baking paper.
- Cover the peppers with a drizzle of olive oil.
- Roast for 30-35 minutes until the skin begins to shrivel.
Who doesn’t love a juicy burger?
If you are looking for the perfect weekend treat, serve your falafel in between a floury burger bun with mayo, iceberg lettuce, a thin slice of tomato and a squirt of ketchup.
And it’s not a proper burger without a slice of cheese. Go on, treat yourself.
Buddha bowls are nourishing bowls of goodness consisting of falafel, healthy grains, veggies, and healthy fats. They are so easy to put together.
To start with, line a deep bowl with greens such as lettuce or spinach.
Next, add a layer of grains. This could be quinoa, rice or couscous. Top it with a range of your favourite vegetables, including avocado, tomato and cucumber. The healthier the better.
Arrange your falafel on top and finish it off with a topping of your choice, such as guacamole or a tahini dressing.
Last updated: 30 April 2021