Bittman-Style Falafel

I’ve been trying to finish reading Mark Bittman’s Vegan Before 6 so I can write up a review and encourage people to get on board with his ideas (if people are not vegan already). I have made a few of his recipes from this book and will talk a little about each one in my review, but here you can read more about his falafel recipe.

I was excited to make these falafel. It took some planning ahead because you have to soak dry chickpeas for about a day (I soaked mine for 24 hours).


And they make a lot. He says the mixture will make 20 balls, and it probably does.

Anyway, preheat your oven to 375 and after rinsing off the chickpeas, you put them in a food processor with some chopped garlic, a small onion cut into quarters, 1 tbs cumin, some cayenne (which I forgot to include!), chopped fresh parsley (he says a cup, I’m not sure I had a whole cup; I used up what I had on hand), some salt, some black pepper, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 1 tbs fresh lemon juice.


And then you grind it all up.


And then you form little patties and put them on a baking sheet that you have oiled (I sprayed mine with olive oil).


I made 12 and put the rest of the mixture in the refrigerator. I didn’t have time to make fresh pita in addition to baking these, so we had them on a salad. Bittman’s tahini sauce sounded a bit bland–it was just tahini mixed with some water and salt. So I made a lemon-tahini dressing instead, which I drizzled over the falafel and salad:


I thought the falafel was okay, but it might be more my fault than the recipe’s fault. The falafel was a little dry. I neglected to brush oil on them before I put them in the oven. I will try that with the next batch I make. Or I might fry them lightly so that I have time to make pita to put them in. These were definitely way better than any falafel that comes out of a box, but not nearly as good as falafel that I have had at a few Middle Eastern restaurants. I think I need to do some experimenting…and possibly make the Egyptian version, ta’amiyya, which has fava beans. I’ll be mixing things up with the leftovers in any case, so stay tuned…


22 thoughts on “Bittman-Style Falafel

      • I almost forgot to put the blueberries in blueberry muffins once. I won’t even mention the things that involve flames…
        Too bad Manny isn’t here with me. I had cauliflower on the floor!

      • i won’t tell him…he looks very dejected right now. i’m sure at some point my mom will point out some of my baking disasters. i once made pumpkin stones, instead of scones, for example. 🙂

  1. I am hold #28 at my library for this book so I can check it out! Looks like they are planning on buying at least 17 copies for the library system.

  2. I am a fool for falafels. I also like that these are baked. Will be interesting to see what else you conjure up with this.

    When I was about 10 and learning to cook, my little brother (about 3 or 4) bit into a cookie I made (or tried to bite into it), made a face, and asked with all earnestness “are these the kind of cookies that break your teeth?”

  3. I just found out twelve seconds ago Bitman’s coming to Vancouver for this book! He’s doing a vegan thing at 3pm on may 11th that I’m going to try to go to. And a non-vegan thing after 6…so clever.

    • ha! he is very clever. and very committed! i’m sure you wont be learning anything from him, Jayme, but i hope you go and report back! i think he has a good message and makes quasi-veganism exciting and non-daunting for people who probably could never envision themselves as vegan. but i think his revolution will need real vegans to help these new quasi-vegans get their bearings and find more recipes, etc. 🙂

  4. Hi Jayme!

    Yeah I like the semi-vegan idea. I never actually considered being vegan, but with vegetarianism I decided on the “mostly vegetarian” title. Much less stressful. I don’t like absolute rules.

  5. Funny, I made falafel for the very first time on Monday. I used chick pea flour, though, and did fry them. I like your tahini sauce drizzle. I will use that next time. Did you post the recipe?

  6. i have chickpea flour! what recipe did you use to make them or did you make it up? the tahini sauce i made i adapted from this recipe:
    i didn’t have the parsley so i left it out and i left out the garlic because i was almost out of it. and i didn’t use lemon zest, just juice. so i bet the tahini sauce could be really very excellent but what i whipped together wasn’t bad. it was better than the falafel. 🙂

  7. I used the recipe that came on the (Bob’s Red Mill Chickpea Flour) box. Having zero prior experience, I would recommend it. 🙂

  8. Pingback: Favorites: Manakish and Falafel | The Kitchen Billets-Doux

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