Black Bean Falafel with Red Onion Salad and Tahini Dressing

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From Vegan / Vegetarian Recipes


  • 4 slices white bread, crusts removed
  • 450 grams / 1 pound chickpeas soaked in cold water for 24 hours
  • 25 grams / 1 ounces plain flour or chickpea flour
  • 225 grams / 8 ounces onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 200 grams / 7 ounces dried black beans, soaked overnight, rinsed, brought to a boil and simmered for 1 hour (or just use canned black beans)
  • Vegetable oil for frying
Red Onion Salad with Tahini Dressing
  • 2 red onions
  • 300 grams / 10 ounces young spinach
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons coarse-grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon barley syrup, golden syrup, or corn syrup
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 125 milliliters / 4 fluid ounces olive oil

Place the bread in a bowl. Pour 150 milliliter / 1/4 pint of cold water over the bread. Leave to soak for 10 minutes.

Drain the chickpeas and mince to a fine pulp in a blender or food processor. Transfer to a bowl with the flour.

Mince the onion, parsley, and coriander in a blender or food processor, then add the garlic, cayenne pepper and cumin. Blend again, them mix with the chickpeas and flour.

Squeeze the excess water from the bread with your hands and add to the mixture. Work all the ingredients together until well blended, then stir in the cooked black beans and mix until thoroughly incorporated.

Shape into small cakes approximately 2 inches / 5 centimeters in diameter and 3/4 inch / 19 millimeters thick. Leave to rest in the refrigerator until the mixture has firmed up.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and shallow fry the falafel for 3–4 minutes on each side over a medium heat until golden. Drain the excess oil on kitchen paper. Serve on a bed of the red onion salad with tahini dressing.

Red Onion Salad with Tahini Dressing

For the dressing, whisk together all but the first two ingredients in a bowl until smooth.

Peel the onions without removing the roots, then cut the onions into separate wedges (the root holds the wedges intact). Place in a baking dish and cover with half the dressing. Leave to marinate for 2 hours then bake in 200C/400F oven for 30 minutes until tender.

Place the spinach in a bowl, add the onions and the remaining dressing, reserving just a little to serve. Toss until the salad is well coated. Divide the onion salad equally between four serving plates, drizzle with the remaining dressing.