Broad (Fava) Bean & Chickpea Falafel with Roast Root Vegetables & Labne


Phew - finally had the chance to get this recipe written up and on the blog - ta dah! I have been wanting to make falafel ever since a lovely colleague back when I was working at the Annabel Langbein offices bemoaned the fact that she couldn't find a good homemade falafel recipe. I love falafel - and these ones made with broad beans (otherwise known as fava beans, yikes always makes me think of Silence of the Lambs :( ) and chickpeas  (using canned chickpeas...and they said it couldn't be done!) with gorgeous honey and cumin roasted carrots and beetroot, and homemade lemony labne are delicious! Yuuu -uuum :)

Now before you rush off to make them, I have to note here that the texture when using canned chickpeas is a little softer and smoother inside, but with the same great flavour. I am going to put up the optional technique of using cooked dried chickpeas too, so if you prefer the traditional slightly nutty texture you can still use this recipe. Whichever way you choose to serve them, if you add the sweet roasted veges and lemony labne along side they will be fab!

500g natural organic Greek style yoghurt
1/2 tsp salt
1 small garlic clove
finely grated zest of a lemon
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
16 small baby carrots
16 small baby beetroot
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp runny honey
2 tsp cumin
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves and/or microgreens
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp dukkah, optional

400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or 3/4 cup uncooked)
500g broad beans (frozen is fine)
1/2 small brown onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup loosely packed coriander leaves
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh mint
4 cloves garlic
grated zest of one lemon
plenty of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 heaped tbsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 tbsp flour

2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp sesame seeds

4 cups neutral oil for frying eg rice bran

Prepare yourselves, this is one of those 'start this recipe the day before' situations...but do not panic, the day before bits will only take 15 minutes max. Promise. First up the labne - so unbelievably easy. You will need a square of muslin, although I suspect this would work with a coffee filter...let me know if you give it a try.  Mix the yoghurt, salt, garlic and lemon zest together. Line a sieve with muslin and rest over a bowl. Plop the yoghurt into the middle, and draw up the sides of the muslin. Twist to contain, just pop a peg at the bottom of the twist to hold it in place. (Obviously not if you are using a coffee filter...). Stick it in the fridge exactly like this with your muslin ball resting in the sieve, tipping out the whey that collects in the bottom of the bowl if it looks like your labne will be sitting in it. The next day when you come to serve it - perfect creamy labne - just untwirl and scoop out with a large spoon! Drizzle with a wee bit of olive oil to serve.

If you are using regular dried chickpeas, rinse them and pop them in a big bowl and cover with plenty of water. Leave to soak over night...not so hard huh? When you are ready to use them, rinse, drain and pop in a big pot of water. Bring to the boil then simmer for 5 minutes. Rinse and cool before continuing with the recipe.

Pre-heat oven to 180˚C (350˚F). Scrub carrots and beetroot and lay in a single layer in 2 separate baking tins. (You need to keep them separate as the cooking times are different and the beetroot tends to bleed a little.)  Mix oil, honey, cumin, salt and pepper together and drizzle over vegetables. Bake the carrots for 25 minutes, and the beetroot for 40-45 minutes or until both are easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Leave to cool in delicious sweet juices. If your baby beetroot are super fresh and gorgeous, (and tiny), there is no need to take the skins off...if they are a bit more ornery, once cooked just slip the outer skins off with a firm push of your thumbs...wearing gloves if you are averse to having pink thumbs. Serve as a side salad with the falafel, with a sprinkling of mint and microgreens, an extra seasoning of salt and pepper, and dukkah if you have it, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. This salad would also be spectacular with lamb...

Bring a pot of water to the boil and add the broad beans. Cook for just 1 minute then drain under cold running water. When cool enough to handle, pop/squeeze off the outer casings and discard. Right then into the food processor go your onion, coriander, mint, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper, cumin and chilli. Whizz until smoothish. Add the chickpeas and broad beans and whizz to combine, a total blitz for super smooth, or pulsing for a little chunkier. Pulse the flour in at the end to combine. Pop in the fridge to rest for up to 2 hours (not less than one) before cooking. When ready to go, put flour and sesame seeds in a shallow plate and mix up. Take tablespoons of the falafel mix and roll gently to just coat in the mix, forming into a rounded disc. Make one extra little tester to check the oil temperature. Makes 16.

Put oil in a pot and heat to a medium high temperature so that a few sesame seeds dropped in start to fry immediately but don't turn brown - you want the oil hot enough so that the mix is cooked through before the outside goes brown...try your little tester one to make sure you have it right. Cook in batches of four and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately with roasted carrots and beets and labne, with a good sprinkling of sea salt. Great as an entree, lunch or dinner with a few fresh pita breads on the side. Serves 4 for lunch or entree, and 2 for dinner (depending on your appetite :)).


  1. I love the idea of fava beans in falafel! These look delicious. I've made baked falafel before, so I wonder if these would bake well?

    1. Hi - hmm, I'm not 100% sure - I think if you used the uncooked chickpeas (just soaked, not canned) that would probably work just fine. I would probably give the falafel a light spray with a cooking oil like Rice Bran oil just to get a bit of a crusty seal on the outside too. Please do let me know if you give it a go! :)

  2. Ok, so I've just pinned a million of your recipes, and now i'm going to start following you! You're such a great find!

    I find your recipes to be amazingly delicious (looking (I havent tried any yet)) and while they have unique twists, they aren't too crazy. I've seen too many overly ambitious, crazy, bacon yogurt pomegranate quinoa pretzels (thats a bit of a over exaggeration, haha)

    thanks for blogging your recipes, you have a new dedicated reader and commenter!

    1. Haha - thank you so much, and I'm so pleased you like the look of the recipes. I can't wait to hear how you get on when you give one a go - if you have a chance, do let me know! Thanks also for taking the time to leave a comment, I really appreciate it :)