Falafel and hummus

All of Maria Elia's mezze dishes can be made ahead for easy entertaining, you'll love it!
By Maria Elia
Falafel and hummus
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes per batch of falafels
  • Prep Time: plus overnight soaking and 30 minutes chilling
  • Effort: medium


For the hummus

  • 200 g chickpeas, soaked overnight in water 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 200 ml tahini, paste
  • 1-2 lemons, juice only, to taste
  • paprika, to garnish

For the falafel

  • 250 g dried, shelled and split broad beans, soaked in cold water and a sprinkle of bicarbonate of soda
  • 50 g dried chickpeas, soaked in cold water and a sprinkle of bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 50 g coriander, finely chopped
  • 10 g parsley, finely chopped
  • 100 g chickpea flour
  • vegetable oil, for frying

For the tahini dip

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed to a paste
  • 150 g natural yogurt
  • 1/2 lemon, juice only
  • pinch ground cumin
  • 1 rounded tbsp tahini, paste

To serve

  • flatbreads
  • lemon wedges
  • flat leaf parsley

Tips and Suggestions

When shaping the falafel, roll each ball around in your hand for a little while to create a smooth surface.

After frying, the falafel should be crispy on the outside with a moist inside.


1. For the hummus: drain and rinse the chickpeas then place in a large saucepan. Put in the remaining bicarbonate of soda and enough water to cover the chickpeas. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently for about 2 hours, or until very tender, skimming the surface regularly. Drain the chickpeas well, reserving some of the cooking liquor and a few chickpeas for garnish. Transfer the chickpeas to a food processor and process to a smooth purée, adding the garlic and a little of the reserved cooking liquor, or enough to make a smooth mixture.

2. Transfer the hummus to a bowl and stir in the tahini and enough lemon juice and a little salt to taste. Mix until smooth, adding some more of the reserved cooking liquid if the hummus is too thick the purée should be soft and creamy but not runny. Pour into a shallow bowl and spread across the dish raising the purée slightly up the sides. Top with the reserved chickpeas a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of paprika.

3. For the falafel: drain the broad beans and chickpeas and rinse them under running cold water. Transfer to a blender or food processor with the remaining falafel ingredients (minus the chickpea flour) then process until smooth. Season to taste and leave to rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

4. Take a little of the falafel mixture and shape with the palms of your hands into roughly 3-4cm balls. Roll them in the chickpea flour to thoroughly coat. Heat enough vegetable oil in a deep, heavy-based saucepan or deep fat fryer to about 170C to deep fry the falafels. Carefully lower the falafels into the oil in batches and fry until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Serve hot or at room temperature.

5. For the tahini dip: stir the garlic with the yogurt, lemon, cumin and tahini and a few tablespoons of water. Season to taste and serve with the falafel, hummus, flatbread and a garnish of lemon wedges and parsley.

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