This Lazy Falafel is SUPER easy to make, will take up less than 30 minutes of your time, and tastes every bit as delicious as the traditional version!
What's not to love about falafel? As a university student I would often visit Taste of Cambridge. Also chummily known as ‘The Falafel Van’, this itinerant eatery can be found on the corner of Market Street, usually attached to a flock of loyal customers.
Their well-known falafel wraps will delight vegans and omnivores alike: expect warm flatbreads filled to the brim with spiced falafel, fresh salad, creamy tahini dressing, piquant harissa, garlicky hummus, smoky grilled aubergine and fragrant mango chutney.
Another experience I look back on fondly is when I ate my body weight in Middle Eastern food at L'As du Fallafel in Paris - huge falafel pittas loaded with every accompaniment imaginable for very reasonable prices - an unusual but very welcome combination in the French capital.
Issue is, falafel is a bit of a faff to make yourself - between frying up the onions, blending up the chickpeas, shaping it all into patties, coating them in flour, turning on the oven or heating up oil, you are left feeling unsure whether the resulting very tasty pitta was really worth all that fuss.
Enter this wonderful creation aka Lazy Falafel: it's SUPER easy to make, will take up less than 30 minutes of your time (including eating time depending on how quickly you can wolf down your lunch), and tastes every bit as delicious as the traditional version!
So here's the deal: just fry off some onions with some basic spices, add crushed chickpeas, stuff into a pitta with accompaniments of choice, and hey presto you have a falafel pitta.
I came up with this quicker and easier version of falafel one evening in Paris when I got home from work at 8pm and really wanted to eat falafel but didn't have the time or energy to make it properly.
So I figured, once it gets stuffed into a pitta along with other ingredients and sauce, it basically turns into a (delicious but shapeless) mush anyway, so what's the point in shaping it into patties and frying it? Why not just crush up some chickpeas and fry off with onions and spices?
And what's more, this falafel actually happens to be much healthier than the traditional version as there's no deep-frying involved, plus being vegan and gluten-free, it's more accommodating too!
This falafel is delicious paired with a tahini, lemon and dill dressing (recipe below), which I was inspired to make after trying a lovely falafel wrap I had at a café in London, which was flavoured with dill.
It was a combination I hadn't really thought about before, but it was absolutely delicious! So I just had to re-create it at home.
Other delicious sauces include:
Add whatever other fillings you like - delicious fillings include:
- lettuce leaves
- rocket (arugula)
- shredded cabbage
- sweet red peppers
- roasted veggies
Looking for more yummy plant-based recipes? You might like my:
- Mediterranean Chickpea “Tuna” Pittas
- Lazy Samosa Lettuce Cups
- White Bean Scramble
- Vegan "Crispy Duck" Lettuce Wraps
- Chickpea Mayonnaise Salad Sandwich
- Muffin Tin Sushi Cups
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d really love to hear any feedback! Please give it a rating, leave a comment, or tag a photo #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.
If you'd like to see how to make this, check out this 40-second video here:
Lazy Falafel (Vegan + GF)
For the falafel:
- 2 tablespoons oil (olive, vegetable or coconut)
- 1 onion, diced
- Handful of fresh coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped (or sub 1 teaspoon dried coriander)
- ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- Salt + pepper, to taste
- 400 g (14oz) tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
For the dressing:
- Pitta bread or flatbread (gluten-free if necessary)
- Salad: rocket, lettuce, peppers, radishes etc
- Heat up oil in a frying pan
- Add onions and fry for 10 minutes or so, until soft and slightly caramelised
- Meanwhile, either purée the chickpeas in a food processor or using a hand blender, or mash them up using a fork or a potato masher (depending on what kind of texture you prefer, and what equipment you have on hand!)
- Add the spices, salt and pepper, coriander and chickpeas to the pan once onions are soft
- Cook for around 5 minutes, stirring regularly until warmed through. Add a little splash of water if it's looking too dry
For the dressing:
- Mix together all ingredients, along with a couple of tablespoons of water until you achieve your desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly
- Toast pitta or flatbread
- Stuff with falafel and salad, and slather with tahini dressing
- Devour immediately
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