When I was 16 I went to Israel with a group of friends. We were very lucky to be left to our own devices most evenings. While we were in Jerusalem we would go from the hostel at Mount Scopus every night, into the Old City. I loved the freedom but all the time we were aware of the threat of suicide bombs and attacks and the army that was visible everywhere. I was a vegetarian when we were in Israel and my nightly treat was felafel, served in pita bread with hummus. I have wanted to make felafel for a long time now, but I am put off my the fact that they need to be deep fried. I do not like deep frying anything and the only time I will do so is to make my battered fish. My friend Hila at Add To Taste is Israeli by birth, and she has told me that the proper way to make felafels is to use raw chickpeas. I decided not to listen to her and used tinned chickpeas instead, as I thought that would be best for baking them. I used tahini as a binder for those of you who are vegan but I think they will hold together better with an egg yolk. They are crumbly and could fall apart, but as the felafels get stuffed into a pita that is not a big concern. I would love someone with an airfryer to make these and tell me how they work out, as I am really considering getting one for my new kitchen.

do you deep fry anything? and do you own an airfryer?

Baked Felafel
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Recipe Category: Vegetarian
Makes enough for: 2 people
All Rights Reserved: adapted from avocado magazine November/December 2007 page 100


  • 244 g tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed (400g nett weight)
  • 1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 0.625 mls cayenne pepper
  • 5 mls ground coriander
  • 5 mls ground cumin
  • 1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 5 mls fine salt
  • 30 mls tahini


  • In a food processor purée all the ingredients until smooth
  • Adjust the seasoning to suit your palate
  • Transfer the mixture into a deep bowl and knead for 1 minute
  • Cover and rest while you preheat the oven to 160° Celsius
  • Shape into walnut size balls and place into an oven proof dish
  • Bake for 30 minutes, turning once

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39 thoughts on “Felafel

  1. Lovely post Tandy. I have never made felafel before but the recipe seems simple enough. I also prefer to not deep fry anything and if I really have to I will shallow fry instead. Deep frying isn’t an option with koeksisters though but I rarely make them so every now and then is probably ok 🙂

  2. I never fry anything either. I would love to give your baked version of felafels a try as they look great!

  3. I try to avoid deep frying too and I too want to get an airfryer! If you find out something or how it cooks please let me know!The felafels look absolutely mouthwatering!

  4. They look delish and I actually have an air fryer but have no idea on what to do with it 🙂 Maybe I should try your recipe 🙂

  5. I tried the veggie thing for a couple of months when I was younger but the second I smelt bacon frying it was all over! I am so weak!
    Your Felafel sound lovely.
    When I looked at the airfryer I was concerned about the small cooking compartment – so would love to hear what your readers have to say who own one.
    🙂 Mandy

  6. Sounds great, I will try this using a little egg and some rye breadcrumb to hold it together a bit. I VERY rarely deep fry anything, I find it just revolting!

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