Chickpea, Carrot & Coriander Falafels [VG/V/DF/GF]

This recipe uses tinned chickpeas, but can also use dried chickpeas if you have them available. Dried chickpeas work out cheaper but will need to be soaked in cold water for at least 8 hours before starting the recipe, and then need to be cooked (put in a pan, cover with water and boil vigorously for at least 10 minutes before draining and using). If you have dried chickpeas, use half the quantity of tinned, i.e. 200g. I like to serve the falafels accompanied by couscous made up with vegetable or chicken stock, lemon juice and coriander, and with green beans or another green vegetable.

Makes 12ish falafels (4–6 per person)

1 onion
1 carrot
a generous shake of ground cumin
1 tablespoon oil, plus 2 tablespoons to fry the falafel
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed thoroughly
a handful of chopped parsley
a handful of chopped coriander
1 tablespoon flour, plus extra to shape the falafel (to make this recipe gluten free, simply add your favourite gluten free flour here)

Peel and finely chop the onion and wash and grate the carrot.

Put in a frying pan, add the cumin and fry together in the 1 tablespoon of oil over a low heat for a few minutes until softened.

Tip the cooked onion and carrot into a large mixing bowl along with the chickpeas, add the chopped parsley and coriander and stir in the flour. Mash it all together with a potato masher or fork until the chickpeas have broken down into a mush. The oil from the carrots and onion will help combine the chickpeas together, but you may need to add up to 2 tablespoons of water so the mixture can be shaped.

Flour your hands and mould the mixture into about 12 golf ball shapes. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the sauté pan and fry the balls until golden brown and slightly crispy on the outside – this will take about 10 minutes.

Tip: Instead of making falafels, shape the mixture into 4 burger patties and fry on each side. These are delicious with mango chutney or ketchup.

Photography by Susan Bell.

Photography by Susan Bell.

‘Chickpea, Carrot And Coriander Falafels’ recipe from A Girl Called Jack by Jack Monroe.

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  1. Great recipe but have you thought of buying dried chick peas and soaking them? Much cheaper and taste even better. Also if your JS has an ethnic aisle, they have tinned chick peas (Pride brand) there for 35p.

  2. If you can afford and if you have the room, buy some of those fancy living lettuce, plant them into pots or your garden and grow them. You then have an abundance and variety of lettuce to last you through the summer!

  3. Thanks – I love felafels but have never made my own; I am a competent cook but 6 kids, no time etc, and it always looked like so much faff! This looks do-able! Is grating the onion to improve the texture? Would whizz ing it in a blender defeat the object? How about a mandoline grater? Thanks!

    • I haven’t tried doing it in a blender because I suspect my £9.97 Tesco Value one isn’t up to the task, but if you do I’d imagine you’d need the egg to bind it back together and maybe a tablespoon of flour? I grate the onions for texture but theyd be fine if you finely chop them and fry them until soft. Hope this helps!

      Ps I kept mine in the fridge for 3 days, snacked on them cold and had them for lunch in a pitta with some hummus and lettuce!

      • I blitzed in the blender bit didn’t think about putting an egg in so they didn’t stick together very well, but tasted great none the less. Will certainly attempt again – thanks, Jack!

  4. I made the falafels last night. I’ve been a big fan of them ever since I visited Israel a few years ago. I didn’t have coriander so it was just chick peas and carrots but they were yummy. Next time ill need to add a little extra oil to bind them though. Had them in tortilla wraps with salad, homous and hard boiled egg. Was really yummy. Thanks for the recipe. You should collect all your recipes together and make your own cookbook before someone plagiarises you.

  5. Just made these tonight! Very tasty but I found they came apart quite easily…maybe I didn’t mush/combine/squeeze well enough? Would you recommend adding an egg to help them keep their shape? Will definitely make again!

  6. I made these last night, they were great! I agree that they come apart too easily. I wonder too if an egg would assist. I might try it.

  7. Wow, I’ve finally found an easy, tasty recipe I can feed my coeliac, egg allergic friend. Just dusted my hands with cornflour instead of wheat flour. Thanks Jack!

  8. Do you grow your own herbs from seed? I love fresh herbs but always kill the nicer ones like basil and coriander

  9. Just tried them. Did not grate all that fine for a rustic texture. Used powdered cumin and coriander. I had no flour or egg so they tended to fall apart a bit. No matter. I left them to crisp with a cover on the pan.

    Very good! Much nicer than the shop bought ones. Thank u.

  10. Very cool recipe. Thnx for sharing your recipes and time. Good luck with your book 🙂

  11. Hi – heard you on Radio 5 a short while ago, so checked out the blog. Really want to have a go at these falafels.
    I wondered if you’d come across this tip : grow your own pea shoots,delicious in a salad, but pricey in supermarkets. You sow the seeds really densely in trays or pots on windowsills, not bothering to sow thinly as you’re not growing the plants for peas, but just so they’re high enough to pick & eat. The real money saver is not buying seed packets but a box/bag of dried peas. I bought a box of 250g dried peas from Sainsburys, and it contains hundreds! Only 49p. You sow a tray of peas, & when they’d grown a few inches you start off another batch, so you have continual salad leaves all summer.
    Good luck with the book deal – I’ll happily buy it, especially as it looks like you’ll featured lots of veggie recipes for us non-carnivores.

  12. Morning Jack,
    Made these earlier in the week for last night’s dinner – how tempting to polish them off when just freshly made. I served them with the sauce described in your Gigantes Plaki recipe, adding some mushrooms to use them up, and a wee bit rice with frozen mixed veg to use it up (and free up some freezer space for the bargains/reduced goods I am ever hopeful of spying in Asda). Wow Wow Wow what a terrific recipe. I will definitely be making again, and again, and again some more. My mind is reeling thinking of the lunchtime sandwich-y possibilities of this one. The mango chutney is on standby :).
    Thanks again!! x

      • Thanks Jack for that suggestion!! I left chickpeas soaking this morning to make more of these (amongst other things), in preparation for tomorrow morning’s Asda shop. They always always always have some form of hummus reduced – please don’t let me down this week Asda!.
        I’m making your chocolate bread tonight too, can’t wait – an extra reason to wish Friday to be over and get home to begin the weekend x

  13. I’ve found adding some lemon juice and a tablespoon of plain flour helps to bind them together .

  14. Thank you for this recipe. I’ve been having these in a pitta with salad for lunch over a few days. Will prob up the carrot in my next batch and I might have been a bit stingy with the herbs. Enjoyed them thoroughly though.

  15. Love this recipe! I cooked them a few days ago, had some for lunch, and then left the rest to cool. The trouble as I kept ‘testing’ them every time I walked past the plate, so in the end I had to put the plate in the freezer complete with the falafels, or there would have been none left. Had the rest this evening with some home-made flatbread and couscous.

  16. Just wanted to say I love this recipe. I’ve always liked the idea of felafel, but often when I try them, they end up quite dry and hard. This recipe was easy and the felafels were so moist and delicious! I think they’d also be a good way to get fussy eaters to eat more veg. I know they were devised on a budget, but they taste really expensive 🙂

  17. A great recipe, it worked really well, thank you. Lovely to find quick & tasty teenage friendly veggie ideas.

    Heard about you on Radio 4’s food programme. I am looking forward to your book.

  18. I finally got around to trying these today. I think I’ll use a bit more flour next time to try and shape them a bit better as they fell apart a bit, but they are still soooooo tasty that half of them have already disappeared… so much for saving them for lunches!!! 🙂

  19. I made these tonight and was hoping for leftovers for lunch tomorrow but they ate them all! Fabulous recipe Jack.

  20. I’ve never made these before, so roughly how much of the herbs should I use? Also, would dried be ok instead of fresh please?

  21. Heard you making these on Radio 4 and decided to try them for lunch. Having been vegan for 21 years and tried countless falafel recipes, well done for creating brilliantly tasty ones that didn’t disintegrate in the pan! The secret is in compacting them in your hands well enough to make eggs unnecessary. Needless to say, too tasty to provide any leftovers for today….. 😉

  22. Tried these today. I wasnt covinced, but honestly i’m a bit of very phobic! My 2 year old son however is devouring the lot as we speak! I think i will try them again maybe with a bit more cumin. Do you think they would freeze ok? 🙂

    • Hi barmycarmy, not sure if this helps but I’ve found they freeze very well like this:

      Make the falafel mix, and shape into balls
      Cover/line a baking tray, freezable plate, chopping board (basically, anything flat) with a layer of grease-proof paper
      Put ‘raw’ falafels on the grease-proof paper, and freeze overnight or until solid
      To save freezer space, the now-frozen falafels can be decanted to a freezer bag or box until needed. If you put them straight into the bags/boxes, you will have a frozen lump of (very tasty!) chickpea mush
      Fry from frozen to prevent falling apart

      Hope this helps!

  23. Oh gosh, I’m a bit late for this party, but goodness do these taste good.

    I’ve just started my first year at uni and this is the very first thing I have cooked. I can get 2kg of dried chickpeas for the same price as only a couple of chicken breasts. This kind of budget cookery is a no-brainer for me.

    I made these with 1tsp ground cumin and 1tsp of ground coriander instead of the fresh variety for extra cheapness. Fantastic!

  24. Tried these falafels and they were sooo good! After making them I can’t go back to the stodgy supermarket ones! We made them one evening at uni and had them with a big salad and some wholemeal wraps. Such a good memory eating these together in the garden as the sun went down. PS. I’m a HUGE fan 🙂

  25. My ten year old daughter made these today. She was impressed with the idea of grating the onion as she finds chopping them difficult. She is vegetarian and going off of cheese so these are ideal for her packed lunch.

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