Traditional recipes

Baked Saffron Falafel

Baked Saffron Falafel



  • 1/2 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds
  • 2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed, drained
  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads

Tahini dressing and assembly

  • 4 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2–3 tablespoons plain soy yogurt

Recipe Preparation


  • Preheat oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pulse sunflower seeds in a food processor for about 30 seconds. Add chickpeas and pulse 1 minute longer. Add onion and remaining ingredients and pulse, occasionally scraping down sides of work bowl, until mixture is slightly coarse and well combined. Using your hands, form 24 small round falafels and place on prepared sheet. Bake, turning every 5 minutes, until falafels are evenly brown, about 15 minutes.


  • Using a fork, beat tahini, orange juice, and garlic in a bowl until creamy dressing forms. Set aside.

  • Gently separate leaves from cabbage; rinse and pat dry. Place 2 falafels in the center of a cabbage leaf. Top with a few greens; spoon a little dressing and yogurt over. Fold each side of leaf in toward center, about 1–2-inch, then fold the end closer to you over the filling and tuck it under the falafels. Tie with kitchen twine to hold together.

,Photos by Johanna FrenkelReviews Section

Chickpea & Oats Falafel Recipe

Falafel is a classic street food of Middle East made from chickpeas. This recipe has oats added to the chickpeas and is flavoured with cumin and parsley. Serve these crunchy snacks along with humus or any other dip of your choice for a party or a family get together.

The Chickpea Oats Falafel Recipe The traditional recipe is made from chickpeas, but this recipe has an additional healthy twist and that’s by using Saffola Masala Oats. This recipe is also made in Kuzhi Paniyaram pan to pan fry the falafel, making it healthier than the deep fried version.

Did You know: Chickpeas make for a very nutritious and healthy diet. It reduces cholesterol, prevents constipation and helps prevent digestive disorders. Chickpeas are rich in potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. It also has impressive amounts of iron, sodium, selenium and small amounts of copper, zinc and manganese.

You can serve the Chickpea Oats Falafel along with Lemon Coriander Hummus and Tabbouleh and Pita bread for a wholesome weeknight dinner.

Oven-baked falafel balls with saffron tzatziki

First make the saffron tzatziki. For a very yellow colour, crush the saffron and mix it with a teaspoon of water. Mix together the yoghurt, saffron water, garlic, tabasco, honey and salt. Lastly, add the cucumber and leave to stand for 30 minutes.

For the falafel, preheat an oven to 190 degrees Celsius/gas 5. Gently fry the onion in oil for three to four minutes until softened, then stir in the garlic, chilli, ground cumin and ground coriander and fry for two minutes more. Transfer the onion mixture to a food processor with the chickpeas, breadcrumbs, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, herbs and salt.

Blitz in a food processor until the mixture comes together. Season to your taste. Shape the mixture into 14-16 balls. Toss them lightly in oil and roll them in sesame seeds until coated, then place on a greased baking tray. Bake for 25 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. Serve warm, with the saffron tzatziki, or in pitta pockets with lots more herbs and lettuce.

Stuffed picnic cob loaf

This can be made up to 12 hours before you leave for your picnic and your imagination is the only thing limiting what can go inside it.

1 medium-size round cob loaf
½ jar of pesto
200-300g cream cheese
100-200g salami
1 large red pepper
100g sun-blush tomatoes
100g Parma ham
A large handful of spinach leaves
Salt and black pepper

1 Cut the top off the loaf and scrape out the bread inside to leave a crusty shell. Reserve the top.

2 Spread the inside of the loaf with a thin layer of pesto.

3 Start layering the loaf with cream cheese, salami slices, thin slices of red pepper, tomatoes, Parma ham and spinach, sprinkling with salt and pepper as you go along, and repeat the layers until the loaf is full. Wrap with clingfilm and put something heavy on top to weight it down. Leave in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

4 Put the top back on and either serve cold or pop into a hot oven for 5 minutes to crisp it up. Wrap it in foil and off you go.

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Amaranth Baked Vegan Falafel

We're halfway through Whole Grain Week and it's seriously been SO much fun! I've loved all your comments on the videos, and can't wait to see all your recreations of the recipes!

We've been flip-flopping between sweet and savory – day 1 was Quinoa Fajita Bowls, day 2 was Mango Buckwheat Porridge – and now for day 3 we're making an easy baked falafel recipe that is crazy delicious and just so happens to be naturally vegan and gluten-free. As you'll see in a moment, it's a cinch to whip up, but my fave thing of all is that these falafel balls seriously go with EVERYthing.

You could serve them up in a pita, traditional-style, or do what I do and go for the bowl. I'm all about high-protein bowl meals and these little bites herby falafel heaven are the ultimate bowl topper!

Our entire recipe is made in the food processor and most of the ingredients I bet you already have in your pantry and fridge. We've got fresh parsley and cilantro as our base, along with some garlic and lemon juice for zing. Then it's just chickpeas, salt, pepper, a little bit of flour and the best ingredient of all..

As you probably already know, we've partnered with BFF's from Bob's Red Mill to bring you Whole Grain Week and in today's recipe, we're using their amaranth, which is part of their Grains of Discovery line. If you aren't familiar with amaranth yet, it's a teeny tiny little seed, that actually happens to look at lot like quinoa, that is high in protein, fiber, and phytonutrients.

Amaranth is an “ancient grain” (just like quinoa) hailing from Mexico and the Aztec era, and while most consider it to be a grain, it's technically a seed. Similar to quinoa and buckwheat, we're again lumping amaranth into the grain family because it acts very similar to other grains. It's fluffy when cooked, it's somewhat starchy, but it's also a complex carbohydrate.

Often times you'll find amaranth made into a porridge, tossed into soups or stews, and sometimes even popped, but today we're actually leaving it raw to make this falafel.

Since it's so small, I've found that you don't always need to pre-cook amaranth in a recipe. This falafel is a prime example it works wonders for the texture, adding a nice little crunch, while also amping up the nutritional value.

All we need to do to make this recipe is whizz everything up in a food processor, shape the dough into little balls (or cakes) and bake it for 20 minutes. The total hands-on time is just about 5 minutes!

Once you've baked them off, you can serve them pretty much any which way you like.

As I mentioned, I'm partial to bowls or salads, but sandwiches, toast (we should totally start a falafel avocado toast trend), or even as a quick, on-the-go snack, they're perfect.

They also freeze nicely, so you can keep them on hand for a quick and easy dinner whenever you're pressed for time!

Oh and one final thing…we must discuss sauce!

Since falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern dish, I tend to lean towards a lemony tahini sauce, but I do think they would also be delicious with an Asian-inspired sauce, or even something with almond butter. I can't say I've tried either one, but they do sound tasty!

Easy Recipes: Preparing Sadaf Mediterranean Falafel Mix

Sadaf’s Traditional Falafel Mix is made using wholesome ingredients, a homemade recipe, and produced locally in Los Angeles. This simple-to-make as a side dish, appetizer, or mezze is packed full of Middle Eastern spices for an authentic and traditional flavor. This mix makes it easy to create a delicious meal in a fraction of the time.

Traditionally, falafels are stuffed into pita bread and topped with hummus as well as fresh and pickled vegetables. With 7g of protein per serving, this dish is the perfect addition to any vegan or vegetarian diet. Our recipe is made without the use of MSG, artificial ingredients, colors, or preservatives.

To prepare, mix dry ingredients with cold water, set, form into balls, and pan-fried or deep-fried for just a few minutes. The results are crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside falafels ready to be enjoyed as-is or with toppings of your choice. Full instructions below.

Preparation Instructions:

1.In a large bowl, mix the entire contents of Sadaf Falafel Mix with 2 cups of cold water. Let it rest on the counter for 10 minutes.

2.Form into patties or balls

3.Bake or fry until golden brown

Baked: Preheat oven to 425 F. Place falafel balls or patties on a cooking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden and crispy on the outside.

Fried: Heat Sadaf Grapeseed Oil in a pan to 350 F then deep fry balls for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve inside warm pita bread with tomato, cucumbers, parsley, and Sadaf Hummus
  • Drizzle with Sadaf Tahini and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Serve alongside Fattoush or Shirazi Salads
  • Top your favorite savory grain bowls with protein-packed falafels

Package Ingredients: Fava Bean, Garbanzo bean, Granulated Onion, Coriander, Cumin, Garlic Powder, Turmeric, Parsley, Cilantro, Baking Soda, Salt, and Pepper.


Add everything up to cayenne and pulse a few times until well mixed. Transfer to bowl and stir in chickpea flour and baking powder.

Squeeze a bit of the mixture with your fingers – if it sticks together, go on to the next step. But if it’s too wet to stick together, add more chickpea flour, a few T at a time, until it does.

Refrigerate for an hour, then decide whether you want to bake the falafel or fry (I always bake them).

  1. Grease the cookie sheet and preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Oil your hands, then take about 2 T of batter and form it into a 1- to 2-inch ball. Flatten a bit and place on tray. Repeat with remaining batter, then drizzle generously with oil.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes, flip, and bake another 10 minutes, until golden brown on both sides.
  4. Serve hot.
  1. Form the batter into patties, place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate another 10-15 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in in the pan until it shimmers.
  3. Fry the falafel in a single, well-spaced layer over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes, until golden. Flip and fry the other side for another 3 minutes.
  4. Transfer to cookie sheet and bake at 350 for another 8 minutes.

I like falafel dipped into tahini sauce, hummus, or baba ganouj, but they’re also terrific in sandwiches.

Adapted from the recipe for "Jig-Inducing Falafel Burgers" in The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook (read my review).

We're Obsessed With Saffron Road Crunchy Chickpeas, You Should Be Too

At around 3 PM, I inevitably start to crave a solid afternoon snack -- something healthy or well-balanced will prevent me from grabbing a bag of chips, cookies or whatever may be near me at that moment. So rather than let my waistline go by the wayside, I keep some handy snacks with me at all times. And my guidelines for what goes in my purse (or my desk drawer!) aren as follows: They should have 200 calories or less, provide some nutritional benefits like protein, fiber, or vitamins and minerals, and, perhaps most importantly, satisfy my craving for FLAVOR. And at least half the time, I want something with a satisfying crunch. That's why these Crunchy Chickpeas from Saffron Road are one of my newest go-to snacktime options.

These perfectly crunchy chickpeas -- ya know, those beans that hummus is usually made from -- come in five flavors that will have your tastebuds begging for more: Wasabi, Falafel, Bombay Spice, plus most recently, the brand-spankin-new Chipotle and Korean BBQ. So it's a good thing that each one ounce serving is super satisfying with 120 cals or less, around two grams of fiber, and about five grams of protein. Plus, they are made from organic, non-GMO chickpeas.

I love that all the flavors are globally-inspired, and that they pair well with a piece of fresh fruit for the perfect sweet-and-savory mix around 200 cals.

You can find Saffron Road Crunchy Chickpeas nationally at Whole Foods in addition to other major retailers in select markets for $4 per six-ounce pack.

Baked Saffron Falafel - Recipes

Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern street food that is popular in the West too. I've never found that restaurants in my city offering falafel satisfy my craving for these little bites, so what to do except make my own. Typically deep-fried and sometimes made with chickpeas that have been soaked for at least 12 hours but that aren't cooked before using, I always prefer cooking my chickpeas. I bake them rather than frying for a healthier alternative. They really are easy to make. All you need is a food processor, a baking sheet, and a bit of patience shaping them into little balls of goodness. They are not as crispy as the deep-fried version, but I really prefer the texture and goodness of baked falafel without all the grease and fuss. I also like to spice mine up for extra flavor.

Falafel may be served as an appetizer along with the lemon tahini sauce that I consider essential to the falafel experience. Or serve as part of a meal, with some lemon tahini sauce, flat breads if you please, a side salad and cooked grain, such as quinoa or rice.

Homemade Baked Chickpea Falafel
Recipe by Lisa Turner
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Published on November 21, 2017

Warm spiced chickpea falafel — baked instead of fried, and served with a creamy, tangy and nutty lemon tahini sauce

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas (3 cups cooked or 2 14 oz cans)
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • small handful of fresh parsley, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 red or green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • water to thin as needed
  • sea salt to taste

Rinse the chickpeas and soak for 8 hours or overnight in enough water to cover. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a medium saucepan and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the chickpeas are tender — 1 to 1/2 hours. Drain and transfer to a food processor.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Add the remaining falafel ingredients to the food processor and process until smooth. The mixture should be thick and fairly dry, but if necessary, add a bit more oil. If it is too moist, add a bit of chickpea flour. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Shape the chilled falafel mixture into small 1-inch balls and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 375° oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown, turning them part way through the baking time.

While the falafel is baking, prepare the tahini sauce. Whisk together all of the ingredients in a medium bowl until creamy. Add water as needed to thin out the mixture.

Serve the falafel hot with the lemon tahini sauce on the side. The falafel can be served in pita pockets with chopped tomato and dill pickle along with the sauce.

As an alternative to the lemon tahini sauce, you can serve falafel with a yogurt sauce made by whisking together 1 1/4 cups plain yogurt, 1/4 cup tahini, juice from 1 large lemon (3 tablespoons), and sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.

You may also wish to serve the falafel with hummus, cooked quinoa and salad for a complete and satisfying meal.

Baked Saffron Falafel - Recipes

After successfully baking falafel instead of frying them, it was time to take things further with a twist. This time I used quinoa in place of the chickpeas. The rather unorthodox mixture of nutty quinoa and tahini was nearly authentic in taste in texture, sans chickpeas. Go figure, but it worked perfectly. The lemon tahini sauce I served them with was the bomb. If desired, you can serve them in pita pockets with the sauce.

Thankfully, I rarely dine alone, but on this occasion, I almost wished I did because I wanted to keep them all to myself. Well, that is a bit of an exaggeration, as I always enjoy serving food to my husband and best friend Basil. However, they are really easy to make so surely these are now a frequent addition to the table. I am one of those grazers that likes to snack on various things throughout the day, rather than to eat large meals and these are simply ideal. Certainly, this is a new healthy favorite.

Note: To make the meal vegan friendly, serve with a tomato-based sauce or chutney, or hummus instead of the lemon tahini sauce which contains yogurt.

Baked Quinoa Falafel Bites
Recipe by Lisa Turner
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Published on February 17, 2014

Crispy golden-brown savory quinoa falafel bites — baked not fried — served with a simple tangy lemon, tahini and yogurt sauce

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (3 cups cooked)
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • juice from 1 small lemon (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/4 cups plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • juice from 1 large lemon (3 tablespoons)
  • sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Rinse the quinoa well in a strainer until the water is no longer cloudy. Transfer to a medium saucepan and pour in 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the water is absorbed — about 20 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and let the quinoa cool.

Stir in the rest of the ingredients until well combined.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat an oven to 450°. Shape the quinoa mixture into small balls and transfer to the baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the falafel balls are golden brown and crispy.

To make the sauce, whisk together the yogurt, tahini, lemon juice and salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

On the top of the reading stack: Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free by Ricki Heller