Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

Falafel Recipe

Recently requested from a friend, this is mum’s homemade falafel recipe. Apart from being just delicious and an excellent way to get your legumes and veggie proteins, I thought I’d post it to help break up the verbiage. ;)

Let me know if you venture towards the kitchen to have a go with this one. Just don’t let me hear of you resorting to any powdered falafel in packets now, y’hear? There’s no comparison with the real deal. Making a batch takes just a bit of effort (I should talk, I’ve yet to make it entirely myself), but can be frozen to last for several meals.

FALAFEL –  فلاف

+ tahini sauce

Serves 8 — may be frozen so a good idea is to separate into 4 batches suitable for servings for two, or any other combination you choose depending upon known numbers.

Measurements are metric (imperial conversions in parentheses)

What you’ll need: ingredients

  1. 500 grams (16 oz) chick peas (tinned fine; fresh is best)
  2. 500 grams broad beans (dry)
  3. 1 bunch of fresh continental parsleybroad-beans.jpg
  4. 1 bunch of fresh coriander
  5. 2 cloves of garlic
  6. 2 teaspoons salt (can be less if desired)
  7. 1 teaspoon pepper
  8. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  9. Vegetable cooking oil (I always use olive but any good oil is fine)
  10. For tahini: tahini paste, 1 lemon
  11. For roll: Lebanese or lavash bread or pitta bread aka Middle Eastern flat bread
  12. To add in roll: tomato, lettuce, onion, pickles (if desired)

The broad bean or fava bean

Optional: chilli, sumac, cumin
Equipment: food processor or blender, mixing bowl, colander or strainer, cutting board, frypan.

Instructions: falafel

  1. Broadbeans and chickpeas should be soaked overnight or, if possible, for 24 hours prior to use. If you can manage the latter, change water of broadbeans up to 3 times.
  2. Drain broadbeans and chickpeas for half an hour from excess water.
  3. Wash and coarsely chop the continental (also known as flat) parsley and coriander (coarse chopping is fine as will be placed in blender/ food processor)
  4. Place broadbeans, chickpeas, garlic, parsley and coriander in blender, adding salt, pepper and baking powder. Adding a touch of chilli and/ or cumin is optional.
  5. Blend all to coarse texture akin to crunchy peanut butter (ie not too smooth or fine).


  6. Place mixture from blender into bowl
  7. Set aside desired amount of falafel batter and divide and freeze the rest.
  8. Pre-heat shallow fry-pan with oil
  9. Using palms, form falafel into balls slightly smaller than tennis ball size and flatten slightly into patties. A pattie maker (as shown in photograph) may be purchased from continental delis or other stores but is not necessary.
  10. Place in hot pan and lightly fry til crispy brown on the outside. The outside ‘mantle’ will be crunchy; inside will still be soft, slightly moist and naturally colored, broadbean-light green.


Tahini sauce (serves two; simply double amounts for 4)

  1. Mix a quarter cup tahini paste (tahini is 100% sesame seed paste), a quarter cup of water with juice of one lemon and a pinch of salt, adding water and lemon juice gradually. Finished result should be the texture of cream. Done!

Making your sandwich (may also be served on a plate)

  1. After frying, prepare a leaf of round flat bread and place 3 to 4 falafel rolls in the middle of the bread, squashing slightly.
  2. Add fresh tomatoes, lettuce, onion, pickles as desired. Homous is sometimes added either in place of or in addition to tahini, but I didn’t want to complicate it with a third recipe … Tabouli can also be added.
  3. Drizzle tahini sauce over falafel and roll sandwich up.
  4. Optional: Season with a sprinkle of sumac (deep red coloured Middle Eastern spice)

Bon Appetite!


8 comments on “Falafel Recipe

  1. Curtis
    10 February, 2007

    Awesome! Thanks to you and your mom from me. I’ve had some decent falafel-from-scratch in a small Lebanese restaurant, but I haven’t thought of making it and especially not in a sandwich-type form. Sounds delicious, can’t wait to try.

  2. peoplesgeography
    10 February, 2007

    Thanks very much dear Curtis, I’ve relayed that to my beaming mum. She’s a real foodie. Hope your go at it goes well! I’m glad you mentioned that it doesn’t have to be in a sandwich form, it can also be eaten on a plate with the falafel either dipped in or drizzled with tahini (and/ or homous), commonly accompanied by tabouli.

  3. homeyra
    11 February, 2007

    Finally something I can understand in this blog!
    Thank you:)
    Btw your site is added now to doxdo: run by Robo (post No war).
    you are more P…. nised than ever!:)

  4. peoplesgeography
    11 February, 2007

    Thank goodness you have great interests outside of geopolitics, Homie. I go to your blog for relief and soul food ;) If economics was once famously called the dismal science, geopolitics surely bears that title now!

  5. MichaelQ
    3 October, 2007

    You mention that you can freeze extra servings of the batter. How do you cook it once it is frozen?

    Love the recipe!


  6. Ann El Khoury
    3 October, 2007

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks very much for your comment. Good question: you can actually cook it straight from the freezer, no need to de-freeze. And I also had some this evening grilled rather than fried for a bit of change and it was great! I’ll post the photos and update this recipe shortly.


  7. Rachel
    28 January, 2008

    Would these work as “falafel burgers”? I was wondering if I could make the patties bigger, and serve them on hamburger buns with all the fixings instead of pita bread. They’re easier to find at the grocery store!


    Ann: Sure Rachel, you can use any bread and burgers rather than rolls are a great idea. I’ve been known to put falafel between two slices of bread, western sandwich-style. Hope it goes well.

  8. Mari
    10 August, 2008

    I tried your recipe. It is wonderful. Might need a tiny bit more salt, and I actually put in more garlic (4 cloves). Thanks

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This entry was posted on 10 February, 2007 by in Culture, Food, Middle East, Syria.

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