Serves: 6-8
Keeps: 2 days in the fridge
Freeze: 2 months
Per serving: 265 cals, 32 g carbs

Making falafel from scratch isn’t hard and so much tastier than using a mix. Oven-baking them with a little oil– a technique known as airfrying – instead of the usual deep fat frying, makes these crunchy morsels far healthier but no less delicious.

We like to set up a self-serve falafel bar with the salads, pickles, condiments and a basket of warm pita or flatbread. Don’t be tempted to use tinned chickpeas or your falafel may fall to bits. And if someone’s allergic to sesame, omit the seeds in the coating, and serve without tahina sauce or za’atar flatbread.


300 g (10 oz) dried chickpeas 
¼ of a medium onion
4 cloves garlic
a good handful of parsley
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cumin seeds or ground cumin
1 tbsp lemon juice
pinch of cayenne or chilli powder
1-2 tbsp water

For the sesame coating
3-4 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp olive oil

To serve
½ long cucumber
8-10 cherry tomatoes
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ of a cabbage or lettuce
pickled hot peppers
Tahina Sauce
2-3 tbsp harissa or similar chilli sauce
Za’atar Flatbread or pita

Soak the chickpeas in plenty of water for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse. Peel and roughly chop the onion and garlic. Put them into a food processor or blender with the rest of the ingredients and process until a thick paste is formed, scraping down the sides as needed. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and roll into 3 cm (1”) balls, then flatten them slightly. The falafel can now be left for up to 2 hours before baking.

Up to an hour before serving, chop the cucumber and tomatoes and mix together with a pinch of salt and the extra virgin olive oil. Shred the cabbage or lettuce finely. Put the tomato and cucumber salad, shredded cabbage, pickles and the sauces into separate serving bowls and chill until needed.

Half an hour before serving, preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Pour the oil onto a non-stick baking tray. Add the falafel and jiggle the tray to coat them thoroughly with the oil, then sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Jiggle again until they are well coated with the seeds.

Bake the falafel for 15 minutes, then turn them over with a large spoon and bake for another 10-15 minutes until a rich brown on both sides – if not, place them under the grill for 2-4 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the flatbreads or pitas in a toaster, then cut them in half to reveal the pocket. Serve at once with the falafel, salads and condiments.

CHICKPEAS help lower LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of diabetes and bowel cancer. They’re high in protein and fibre, and a good source of molybdenum, a mineral with antioxidant properties that’s essential for a healthy metabolism.

This recipe is extracted from the book ‘To Life! Healthy Jewish Food’ by Judi Rose and Dr Jackie Rose.

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