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A lot of people love falafels, but don’t like deep-fried foods, or have difficulty digesting the soaked chickpeas/garbanzo beans that are usually in falafels. Here’s a raw and chickpea-free falafel that is surprisingly easy to make, and will fill you up for many hours! Feel free to use whatever seeds you have on hand. From Falafel: Delicious Recipes for Middle Eastern-Style Patties, Plus Sauces, Pickles, Salads, and Breads. Photograph by Tim Atkins © Ryland Peters & Small 2023

Mediterranean Seed Falafel [Raw, Vegan]


Makes 10–12 falafels

Ingredients You Need for Mediterranean Seed Falafel [Raw, Vegan]

For the Falafels:
  • 1 cup (20 g) pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup (70 g) sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) walnuts
  • 6 sun-dried tomato halves, soaked
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mediterranean dried herbs mix (thyme, savory, marjoram, rosemary, basil, fennel)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1–2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste
  • Salt

For Serving:

  • Romaine lettuce leaves
  • Sliced tomato
  • Grated zucchini and carrots
  • Sliced spring onions/scallions
  • Tahini Sauce*

For the Tahini:

  • 4 tablespoons tahini (see below)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon freshly snipped chives
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
  • about 1/2 cup (120 ml) oat, rice or almond milk
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Tahini:

  • 3 cups (450 g) unhulled sesame seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

How to Prepare Mediterranean Seed Falafel [Raw, Vegan]

For the Tahini:
  1. To make the tahini sauce, mix together the tahini, garlic, chives, lemon juice and a little salt and freshly ground black pepper, adding just enough milk to get a smooth sauce. Refrigerate any leftovers for later use.

For the Falafel:

  1. Grind the seeds and walnuts into fine flour (I have a small electric coffee grinder just for this purpose). Chop the tomatoes very finely. Add the chopped tomatoes, together with the remaining ingredients, to the seed flour and mix well with your hands or with a silicone spatula.
  2. Wrap in clingfilm/plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes. (If you are in a hurry, you can skip this and make them right away.)
  3. Pull off portions of the mixture (about the size of small walnuts) and roll into balls.
  4. To serve, put 2–3 falafels on a Romaine lettuce leaf with some tomato, courgette, carrot and spring onions. Top with a drizzle of the tahini sauce or any sauce of your choosing. Roll up like a wrap and munch away!

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