We love falafel… not the one you can get from a supermarket, so processed that you would not guess what was the main ingredient, so sweet you question the calorific content and so dry you struggle to take another bite… We love the one you can occasionally get from street vans and independent restaurants. Fragrant, nutty, bit coarse, slightly spicy.

Originating from the Middle East falafel is a simple patty made of chickpeas, herbs and spices. Uncomplicated and delicious…no wonder we were on a quest to find a recipe that would satisfy our desires.

Surprisingly the falafel recipes seem foolproof. Handful of ingredients blended together and then deep-fried. Surely, what can go wrong? Well, on our first attempt the falafel disintegrated into crumbs during frying. Quite embarrassing, as our guests were watching, hopeful to get a fantastic snack…

That did not put us off trying. After all, admittedly, we skipped two important steps. So if you, dear friends, do not want to repeat our fiasco, follow the recipe. And, whatever happens, do not use canned chickpeas. Equally do not be tempted not to refrigerate your patties before cooking.

Best of luck!


  • 200g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
  • 40g freshly picked coriander leaves, washed, dried and finely chopped
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 small chilli (seeds removed if you prefer less spicy food)
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1tbsp ground coriander
  • 1tbsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • sea salt to taste
  • 500ml of sunflower oil for frying


Blitz the chickpeas in the food processor until the mixture is of the required coarseness. Place into a large bowl and add all the ingredients other than the soda. Mix until all the ingredients are well combined then taste for salt. Add more if required. Combine the soda into the mixture before forming 24 small balls. Place the falafels on the flat surface and refrigerate for a minimum of 1h.

Heat the oil to 180deg. Using a spoon place your falafels into the oil and fry for 6min or until they are deep brown.

Best served straight away with tabbouleh, flat breads, hummus and pickled turnips.