Middle Eastern Falafel with Couscous & Red Shatta

Middle Eastern Falafel
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We simply had to make Our Middle Eastern Falafel this Veganuary! This is our go-to recipe when the fridge is looking rather empty, as it uses lots of store cupboard ingredients and can easily be adjusted to use whatever you have. Humble chickpeas flavoured with garlic, cumin and turmeric transform to crispy patties that are ideal served on a bed of veggie couscous! We served our Falafel with another Middle Eastern favourite of ours – rich and spicy Red Shatta!

I first tried falafel when I was at university working part-time at a university cafe. Sandwiches that didn’t sell were distributed among staff members to take home. And for some ridiculous reason, Falafel & Carrot Sandwich was always there – unwanted and left for me to take home. Lucky me, because I loved it! Back in the day, I didn’t even question what falafel was made of, I just knew it tasted good.

In a way, I have recreated this sandwich in my Middle Eastern Falafel recipe. It has wheat in a from of couscous, carrots, and the star of the show – Chickpea Falafel! Instead of mayo, however, I love serving Falafel with yoghurt and Middle Eastern Shatta. It is a rich and spicy condiment, popular in Egypt, Palestine and Jordan. Made with lots of chillies, Shatta on its own is certainly not for the faint-hearted, but mixed with yoghurt (in the right proportion), it can be enjoyed by everyone.

Middle Eastern Falafel

Falafel can be made in so many different ways. Whilst baked falafel is certainly a healthier option, it simply doesn’t stand up to the pan-fried patties with crispy edges and soft inside. Read on to find out how we make ours!


To Make Middle Eastern Falafel:

First, drain the falafel and reserve the aquafaba (the liquid that chickpeas were in). There is no need to rinse your chickpeas for this recipe.

With a fork, mash your chickpeas, leaving some bigger bits unmashed for texture. Add cumin, turmeric, flour, breadcrumbs, garlic, chilli, parsley, shallot and tahini. Season with some salt and pepper. Add 4 tbsp of the reserved aquafaba (chickpea tin liquid) and mix well to combine. Breadcrumbs in this recipe are used to absorb and retain some of the liquid when cooking, which ensures moist falafel (we all had dry flavourless falafel and this is not it!)

Form 9-12 balls (about a large tbsp each) and then flatten them between your palms slightly.

Place them on a lightly floured board, cover with cling film and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up. You can store the patties in the fridge overnight if you wish.

When you’re ready to cook, heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a large frying pan. Add the Falafel and fry for 3 minutes on both sides until golden and crispy.

To Make Shatta:

In a pestle & mortar or a food processor, place the chopped chillies, herbs, cumin, vinegar, olive oil, vinegar and some salt and pepper. Grind into a rough paste.

Tip the paste into a small saucepan, add the tomato paste and water and heat until it comes to a boil and thickens slightly. Then take off the heat and leave to cool.

Make the CousCous:

Chop carrots into small cubes and cut the red onion into wedges.

In a hot frying pan with 1 tbsp of vegetable oil, fry carrots, onions and cumin for approx 5 minutes on medium-high heat, stirring, until starting to soften but still retain the crunch.

Place couscous in a large bowl and crumble in a vegetable stock cube. Mix and then pour boiling water over the couscous (the recommended amount on the packet). Cover with a large plate and leave to soak for 5-8 minutes.

Fluff up the couscous with a fork, then mix in the carrots and onion. Divide the couscous between plates, top with falafel patties and serve with some red shatta and yoghurt!


If our Middle Eastern Falafel isn’t quite what you want to use your chickpeas for, have a look at our other delicious recipes, where chickpeas are the true star of the dish:

Middle Eastern Falafel

Middle Eastern Falafel with Couscous & Red Shatta

We simply had to make Our Middle Eastern Falafel this Veganuary! This is our go-to recipe when the fridge is looking rather empty, as it uses lots of store cupboard ingredients and can easily be adjusted to use whatever you have. Humble chickpeas flavoured with garlic, cumin and turmeric transform to crispy patties that are ideal served on a bed of veggie couscous! We served our Falafel with another Middle Eastern favourite of hours – rich and spicy Red Shatta!
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Chilling Time: 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 3 portions
Calories 653 kcal

Equipment

  • Pestle & Mortar or Food Processor (to make Shatta)

Ingredients
 
 

For the Falafel:

  • 1 tin chickpeas (400g) drained (liquid reserved)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 20 g plain flour
  • 30 g breadcrumbs
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • ½ fresh chilli finely chopped
  • 5 g parsley or coriander finely chopped
  • 1 small shallot finely chopped
  • 30 g tahini

For Cous Cous:

  • 175 g couscous
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 200 g carrots cut into small cubes
  • 1 red onion cut into 8 wedges
  • ½ tsp cumin

For the Red Shatta:

  • 2 chillis (red, green or a mixture), chopped finely
  • 15 g parsley or coriander, or a mixture chopped finely
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 20 ml water
  • 100 ml plain yoghurt vegan, if required

Instructions
 

To Make Falafel:

  • With a fork, mash your chickpeas, leaving some bigger bits unmashed for texture. Add cumin, turmeric, flour, breadcrumbs, garlic, chilli, parsley, shallot and tahini. Season with some salt and pepper. Add 4 tbsp of the reserved aquafaba (chickpea tin liquid) and mix well to combine.
  • Form 9-12 balls (about a large tbsp each) and then flatten them between your palms slightly.
  • Place them on a lightly floured board, cover with cling film and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
  • When you're ready to cook, heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a large frying pan. Add the Falafel and fry for 3 minutes on each side until golden and crispy.

To Make Shatta:

  • In a pestle & mortar or a food processor, place the chopped chillies, herbs, cumin, vinegar, olive oil, vinegar and some salt and pepper. Grind into a rough paste.
  • Tip the paste into a small saucepan, add the tomato paste and water and heat until it comes to a boil and thickens slightly. Then take off the heat and leave to cool.

Make the CousCous:

  • In a hot frying pan with 1 tbsp of vegetable oil, fry carrots, onions and cumin for approx 5 minutes on medium-high heat, stirring, until starting to soften but still retain crunch.
  • Place couscous in a large bowl and crumble in a vegetable stock cube. Pour boiling water over the couscous (the recommended amount on the packet), cover with a large plate and leave to soak for 5-8 minutes.
  • Fluff up the couscous with a fork, then mix in the carrots and onion. Divide the couscous between plates, top with falafel patties and serve with some red shatta and yoghurt!

Nutrition

Calories: 653kcalCarbohydrates: 111gProtein: 22gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 909mgPotassium: 843mgFiber: 8gSugar: 12gVitamin C: 74mgCalcium: 189mgIron: 5mg
Keyword Chickpea Falafel Recipe, Falafel Recipe, Falafel with Tahini, Middle Eastern Falafel, Middle Eastern Sauce Recipe, Pan-Fried Falafel, Plant-Based Falafel Recipes, Red Shatta Recipe, Sauce for Falafel, The Best Falafel, The Best Falafel Recipe, Vegan Falafel, Vegan Falafel Recipes, Veganuary Recipes
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 Middle Eastern Falafel

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