Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Carrot Falafel

I must admit that I'm quite fond of Falafel, though it took me a while before I made them for myself. I'd always thought that there was some secret involved in making them and that they would be "difficult" but it couldn't be further from the truth. So when I saw this recipe by Donna Hay for Carrot Falafel, naturally enough I was drawn to it. Carrots are a wonderful vegetable but I seem to always cook them in the same ways - a new way to incorporate them in a dish got my interest.

carrot falafelĀ©

Carrot Falafel

180g grated carrots
400g can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 red onion, very finely diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons potato flour or rice flour
2 egg whites
salt and pepper
bread crumbs

Put the carrots, chickpeas, onion, garlic, paprika, cumin, baking powder, potato flour, egg-whites and freshly ground salt and pepper into a food processor and process until it comes together. You want to have some texture, so don't process until it forms a puree.

Put this into a bowl - I found the mix to be a little wet so I added a handful of bread-crumbs just to help the mixture hold together.

The next thing is to form balls - because I quite like to have that extra crunch I roll the balls in bread-crumbs. Take 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture and form it into a ball between the palms of your hands - then continue rolling them around in the bread-crumbs before setting aside to continue.

This mix should make around 24 balls. You can make these ahead of time and store on paper towels in a sealed container in the fridge.

carrot falafelĀ©

To cook, I use a small saucepan and fry in a couple of inches of vegetable oil. It should take approximately 2 minutes to cook each falafel - keep an eye on the temperature of the oil. Another reason I like to crumb the balls is that it keeps them together and helps them not break up - you also end up with a most wonderful golden coating.

When cooked, place on paper towels to remove any excess oil.

carrot falafelĀ©

These would make excellent finger food served with a yoghurt based dip - of course they would be perfect in a traditional Falafel.


  1. I love falafel too & had the same thoughts as you - difficult, fiddly, etc. Now that you have shown how easy they are I might give them a go soon - they look scrumptious

  2. Ange do try them - the carrot brings a nice different textural element and a bit of sweetness to the falafel. The great thing is that you can prepare them in advance and just cook them when you need them.

  3. This loooks really good. I haven't made falafel since college. They used to sell the mixes, just add water, you know? Anyway they were never as good as the falafel stands. I ought to give this a try.

  4. I've seen those packets and wondered what they tasted like. I was a bit sceptical about that just add water part. I hope you do give them a try!

  5. AnonymousJune 13, 2006

    From one Falafel fan to another. Haalo, your carrot falafel sounds really great and I will try it the next time I make some. I prepared falafel quite some time ago with canned chick peas, as I couldn't find dried ones, loved it, but didn't try it again until a couple months ago. That time I used dried and soaked chick peas...I was told it is better than using canned ones. I planned them for a party and tried to prepare as much food in advance as possible. I made the "dough" a day in advance and found that it got much more cohesive and better to work with by resting overnight. I guess this way the ingredients have more time to soak up some of the moisture. I used fine ground bulgur instead of flour, my recipe gave me both choices. I also use an ice cream type scoop (they come in different sizes), where you press a handle to release the balls, this makes forming the falafel light years faster and less messy. I got the idea with the scoops from some TV show. Recently, I was able to taste some egyptian falafel made with fava beans and liked this better than the chick pea ones...they have a real pretty green color.

  6. Hi Angelica and thank you for the comments. Ice cream scoops are an excellent way of getting really even round shapes - fava beans sound really interesting, I'll have to try that as well!

  7. Ooooh... our CSA box came with a load of carrots that I have to work through... sounds awesome.

  8. Sounds like a perfect use for your carrots Chris!

  9. I've made these for 3 diff parties now and they have always been devoured within minutes. Many thanks for this recipe! They are even more glorious when eaten still warm...

    I've been serving them with an extra-cumin infused tzatziki, but might try a sweet potato dip next time.

  10. Excellent Gin Gin - love the hear that!


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