Recipes for Kim: Carrot and cumin falafels.

This carrot and cumin falafel recipe is part of a personal project, Recipes For Kim, where a reader has sent me a list of the ingredients in her kitchen cupboard and I promised to write some recipes around them. These aren’t costed, as this isn’t my kitchen cupboard! First up, falafels…

Carrot and cumin falafels.

Ingredients (makes 12):

3tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion
400g chickpeas
shake of cumin
1 carrot
Tbsp flour for dusting your hands.

How To:

1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Peel and finely chop the onion, and grate the carrot. (I grate the onion too so it’s finer, but it’s a pain to do!) Fry together over a low heat for a few minutes until softened.

2. Tip into a large mixing bowl with the chickpeas, and a shake of cumin.

3. Mash it all together with a potato masher (or a 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 a tiny bit more.

5. Flour your hands, and mould into golf ball shapes. Heat the oil in the sauté pan and fry until golden brown and slightly crispy on the outside.

Serve with couscous made up with chicken stock and frozen spinach.

Jack Monroe. Follow me on Twitter @MsJackMonroe. Find me on Facebook at

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Categories: Recipes & Food

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  1. Can’t wait to try this! Can they be frozen? And if so, before or after cooking? Am a bit of a novice!

    • Personally – and not speaking as any kind of authority on falafel – I always freeze my pulse (and nut and grain) based cutlets, patties and balls after shaping and *before cooking*; and then cook them frozen straight from the freezer (I cook in bulk a lot so this makes things easier for me). They go straight into a hot frying pan, or hot oven, and come out just fine – just remember to adjust cooking times appropriately; and if in doubt, do a quick covert heat-test of the middle of one, with a pinky finger before serving.

  2. Hi Jack – I’ve now made 4 batches of these felafels – absolutely foolproof!Whenever I tried making them the traditional way in the past, most of them fell apart in the pan!
    btw – I love what you’re doing on here – I had years of making something out of nothing years ago – you’re doing great!
    Although I’ve been a vegan for years, I could send you a few non-vegan frugal ideas from my penniless days if you like, as you and small boy are meat eaters.
    Your book is on order!

      • Here are two that immediately come to mind:
        I used to pick young nettles in the field behind our house – no more than a foot high,washed them well, and added them to a batch of herby tomato sauce. Just like spinach – when wilted they were cooked. I chopped them really small for the children (easier to do once cooked), and they ate it with pasta or mashed potato, with grated cheese on top.
        I know you live on the coast, so you may have access to really fresh fish…..there used to be a fish van that came up to London from Folkestone once a week, and I asked the guy to save me some fish heads. I used to buy 2 salmon heads and a cod head each week, (I could have had bones and trimmings for nothing) and here is what I did with them:

        1 small onion – finely chopped
        1 clove garlic – crushed
        2 carrots – cut into chunks
        1 fish or vegetable stock cube
        1 celery stick – optional
        2 or 3 large fish heads – I used to pay 25 or 30p each for them – don’t know how much they would be now!
        a handful of chopped parsley
        a little chopped dill – optional
        Black pepper to taste

        Wash the heads thoroughly under the cold tap. Put in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 mins.Remove the heads and add all the other ingredients to the pan – bring back to the boil and simmer until the carrots are cooked. Meanwhile carefully remove the (surprisingly large amount of) fish from the heads, and discard the bones.
        I used the bulk of the fish to make a smallish fish pie, thickening some of the fish stock and adding some of the veg. and topping with mashed potatoes.
        I added a couple of sliced potatoes, a teaspoon of tomato puree, and a finely chopped red chilli to the stock, and cooked until the potato was soft, thickened with a little cornflour,then added the rest of the fish, and reheated it gently. The little people had the fish pie, and the big people had the hot pepper soup with doorsteps of bread.
        Altogether that fed 4 children and 4 adults.

        I’ll send you some more vegan recipes – bye for now.

  3. I made these falafel for the first time, first falafel ever so not too clued in…they fell apart, gutted 🙁 what did I do wrong? Not enough oil…?? Yummy though, the bits that did just about stay together 🙂

  4. I had the same issue they fell apart so I mixed it in with the leftover turkey and chickpea mixture and made burgers! I think I will try freezing them as PV says good idea.

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