• Falafel with Tahini and Spicy Lemon Herb Sauce


Falafel with Tahini and Spicy Lemon Herb Sauce

By Andrew Zimmern

Servings: makes about 24 pieces

Total: 1 hour 15 minutes, plus overnight soaking


  • 1  1/2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup parsley leaves
  • 1 small handful mint leaves
  • 1 cup minced onions
  • 1 serrano pepper, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3 tablespoons chickpea flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Oil for frying
  • Spicy Lemon Herb Sauce, for serving (recipe below)
  • Tahini sauce, for serving (recipe below)


Soak the dried chickpeas overnight in plenty of water, about 6 to 1 ratio of water to chickpeas.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Add them to your food processor along with the cilantro, parsley, mint, onions, serrano, garlic, cumin and cardamom. Pulse the food processor several times until the mixture resembles the texture of coarse sand.

Transfer the falafel mixture to a bowl and add the chickpea flour and baking soda. Stir together, then cover and refrigerate the mixture for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Use a scoop or your hands to form the falafel into balls or patties.

Heat oil to 350 degrees F in a large heavy bottom pot. Fry the falafel in batches until well browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately with tahini sauce and green hot sauce

Spicy Lemon Herb Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 serrano chile, seeds and stems discarded
  • 3 jalapenos, seeds and stems discarded
  • 1 shallot, halved
  • Salt

Combine in a food processor or high-power blender and serve with the falafel.

Tahini Sauce

  • 2 garlic cloves, passed on a Microplane to grate finely
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice

Puree in a food processor, adding water to thin the sauce as needed. Serve with the falafel.

Photograph courtesy of Magnolia Network. 

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