Homemade falafels with salad and pitta bread

These falafels are baked rather than fried for a healthy take on this simple and delicious Middle Eastern dish. This is designed to be a low cost recipe.

This meal provides 435 kcal, 14g protein, 53g carbohydrate (of which 6g sugars), 18.5g fat (of which 3g saturates), 7g fibre and 1.3g salt per portion.

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For the falafel

For the salad


  1. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a small pan. Fry the onion over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and fry for a further two minutes and remove from the heat.

  2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the sautéed onion and garlic and crush together with a potato masher until the mixture is broken down.

  3. Add the cumin, mixed herbs and lemon zest and mix well. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add the egg and mix together.

  4. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Divide the mixture into 16 walnut-sized balls and place on a non-stick baking tray. Rest in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.

  5. Remove the falafel from the fridge, drizzle with the remaining oil and bake for 25 minutes, or until crisp and golden-brown. Turn occasionally to ensure even cooking.

  6. Meanwhile place the cucumber, tomato and lettuce in a large bowl. Squeeze the juice of half the lemon into a small bowl, add a pinch of salt and pepper and using a fork whisk together with the olive oil to form a dressing. Pour over the salad and mix well.

  7. Lightly toast the pitta breads then carefully slice open along one side using a knife.

  8. When ready to serve, arrange a little salad in each pitta, top with some of the falafels and add a squeeze of juice from the remaining lemon half. Serve with the remaining salad alongside.

Recipe Tips

In May 2013 this recipe was costed at £3.82 at Asda, £3.88 at Tesco and £3.99 at Sainsbury’s.
This recipe is designed to be made in conjunction with a
low-cost store-cupboard.