Falafel with Tzatziki Dip

Falafel balls on plate with a side of yogurt dip

I didn’t know how easy it was to make your own falafel until I tried this recipe which I adapted from Ainsley Harriott.    Falafel are ground chickpea patties fried in oil.  They are usually served in a pita pocket but can also be eaten platter-style with a salad.  I decided to make my own falafel when I couldn’t find a Middle Eastern eatery in my new neighborhood in Baltimore. These falafel are better than the ones I’ve tried in some places in New York City.  Usually falafel are accompanied by a tahini-style sauce but I changed it up with a Greek-style tzatziki sauce.

This recipe requires overnight soaking and a food processor.


2 cups dried garbanzo beans (soaked overnight)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 garlic clove, minced finely

3 tbsp parsley

1/2 lemon, juiced

Pita bread

Tzatziki dip (see “sides” for recipe)



1.  Drain chickpeas and place in food processor.  Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until finely chopped but not pureed.  Set aside for 2 hrs.

2.  Pour 2 inches of oil in a deep pan or wok and heat.

2. Wet your hands and shape mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls.  Place in hot oil and cook for about 4 minutes, turn occasionally until all sides are browned.  Do not fill pan completely with falafel as that will lower the temperature of the oil.

3.  When nicely browned remove falafel with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

4.  Fill pita with some lettuce falafel and drizzel with tzatziki sauce.



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