Healthy Falafels with Quinoa and Tahini


Start your New Year with these amazing, healthier versions of the usual deep-fried falafel. The problem with deep-frying is that oils kept at high temperatures for a long time will develop what are known as trans fats, which are toxic and much worse for you than any fat on its own could be. By baking, these falafels retain all the taste, but none of the bad fats. Even better, the double whammy of antiviral garlic and zinc-packed chickpeas makes this great for immune health.

Serves 4


200g quinoa

4 teaspoons bouillon powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons raisins

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

25g fresh parsley, chopped

2 x 400g tins chickpeas

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons wholemeal flour

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for frying

1½ tablespoons tahini

juice of ½ lemon

sea salt and black pepper


Put the quinoa in a pan, cover with boiling water, add the bouillon powder and simmer for 20 minutes, until soft. Drain and stir in the cinnamon, raisins, almonds and half the parsley.

Place the chickpeas, half the garlic, the remaining parsley, cumin and coriander in a food processor and blitz to a paste. Transfer to a bowl, add the onion, eggs and flour, season with salt and pepper and mix well to form a stiff mixture.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6 and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Shape into small patties and fry in a little olive oil for 2–3 minutes on each side, until starting to turn crispy. Transfer to the baking sheet and bake for 10–12 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking together the tahini, olive oil, remaining garlic and lemon juice, and seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve the falafels with the quinoa and tahini dressing.

Recipe and image are extracted from The Medicinal Chef: Healthy Every Day by Dale Pinnock (Quadrille: £18.99) Photography: Martin Poole. Dale will also be appearing live BBC Good Food Show Summer in the City (20th-22nd May 2016).