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  • Writer's pictureYiannoulla Burness

Falafels with Tahini Dressing

Updated: Aug 19, 2023

Falafels are a popular Middle Eastern Patty-shaped fritter traditionally made from chickpeas and or fava beans, fresh herbs and spices. I have added an extra ingredient, bulgar wheat. For a gluten free option leave out the bulgar wheat and add quinoa. When it comes to eating falafels they are delicious served with (check out the recipe) for pita bread, hummus, tahini sauce and a fresh salad. They may also be served in a wrap.


Food processor or thermomix, small saucepan, nonstick frypan


1/2 cup fine grain bulgar wheat *(see note)

gluten free option add quinoa in place of the wheat

1 cup boiling water

2 cups soaked chick peas *(see note)

15g or 5 large cloves crushed garlic

2 teaspoons ground coriander powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin powder

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

20g or ½ cup flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, finely chopped

10g or 1/4 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves, finely chopped (optional)

40g or ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 cup all purpose plain flour or gluten free flour

Grapeseed or other light oil, for frying


(1) For bulgar wheat.

*Place bulgar wheat in a small size saucepan.

*Add boiling water to bulgar wheat grain, allow mixture to come to a boil on stove top, remove from heat place a lid on the pot and set aside for 30 minutes until water has absorbed.

(2) Place soaked and drained chickpeas, garlic, coriander, cumin, salt, parsley, coriander and lemon juice in a food processor or thermomix and blend until smooth.

*Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

*To the chickpea mixture add bulgar wheat and flour.

*Mix until well combined.

(3) Using moistened hands, take tablespoons of mixture and shape into balls, flatten to form 5cm rounds. Put them on a plate cover with cling wrap and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

(4) Traditionally falafels are deep fried to give a crispy outside texture.

*For a more healthy option lightly oil a heavy based or non stick pan and turn heat on high, when the right temperature is reached turn heat down to medium/low.

*Place falafels, a few at a time into the pan and cook until light golden in colour, usually about 3-5 minutes each side. I like to place a lid on the pan while falafels are cooking to steam cook them.

(5) Option two is to bake falafels.

*Place them on a baking sheet place in oven heated to

180 degrees Celsius and bake 15 minutes each side being careful they do not dry out.

(6) Option three cook them in an air fryer which uses less oil follow manufacturers instructions.

(7) Serve hot or cold with tahini sauce, hummus or baba ganoush, pita bread and salad.


* Fine grain bulgar wheat is a quick cooking form of whole wheat that has been parboiled, dried and crushed . Excellent source of fibre, minerals and vitamins. Found in health food stores or delicatessen.

* 1 cup of dry chickpeas gives 2 cups soaked chickpeas.

* soak for at least 6 hours or overnight

* quick method boil water and pour over chickpeas for at least 2 hours. Make sure you cover with plenty of water as they expand.

Falafels may be frozen in their raw state. Take from the freezer amount required, thaw at room temperature, then cook as above.

Tahini dressing


½ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)

2 medium size cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

salt to taste

Purified water add a little at a time


*Place tahini, garlic and lemon juice in a blender, preferably with a small bowl and blend.

*Add water a little at a time until mixture becomes thick and creamy.

*Season with salt and adjust flavours according to your taste.

Makes approximately 15 falafels.

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