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Homemade falafels with tzatzikiGetty Images

Homemade falafels with tzatziki

This dish from Hugo Arnold makes for a wonderful vegetarian lunch.



 For the tzatziki

  • 1 small cucumber, washed
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 handful flat leaf parsley
  • 1 handful fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • ½ lemon, zest only
  • 400ml Greek yoghurt

 For the falafel

  • 400g chickpeas, soaked overnight and cooked
  • 100g red onion marmalade
  • ½ lemon, zest only
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 50g self-raising flour
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 75g sesame seeds
  • Sunflower oil, for frying


  1. To prepare the tzatziki, take the cucumber and cut it lengthways. Scrap a teaspoon down the centre to remove the seeds and discard them. Then roughly grate the rest of the cucumber and place it and the salt into a fine sieve placed over a bowl for at least an hour, allowing the excess liquid to drip off.
  2. Finely chop the parsley and mint leaves and place in a bowl along with the oil, stirring well. Add in the crushed garlic and sea salt, and lemon zest. Stir in the Greek yoghurt.
  3. Use some kitchen roll to blot the drained cucumber, absorbing any remaining liquid, and mix the cucumber into the yoghurt. Refrigerate until needed.
  4. To prepare the falafel, rinse and drain the chickpeas and place in a food processor, along with the red onion marmalade, lemon zest, tahini, parsley, flour, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pulse until the mixture comes together into a rough paste (you want to maintain a coarse texture).
  5. Pour the sesame seeds onto a dinner plate. Use a tablespoon to lift out some falafel mixture and roll into balls. Flatten the top slightly and roll in the sesame seeds. Place the falafel on a baking sheet and refrigerate, allowing them to firm slightly until you are ready to cook them.
  6. Put the oil in a large saucepan over a high heat, and fry the falafel balls in batches for approximately 3–4 minutes or until completely golden and cooked.
  7. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with the tzatziki and some dressed salad leaves.

Recipe by Hugo Arnold. 


Dried chickpeas soaked overnight undoubtedly produce a superior flavour to the canned ones. A bit more hassle perhaps, but considerably more satisfying.