Broad Bean Falafel

Broad Bean Falafel

Contributed by Stuart Whitelaw

After many years of making falafel from dried broad beans or packet mixes, the bumper crop of broad beans at SAGE inspired me to try making these delicious patties using all fresh ingredients. They were served at the first SAGE Open Day in 2010. It is a great way to use the unpeeled large beans that are not so palatable when steamed.

I had 380 g of shelled broad beans from about 1.3 kg of whole pods.

I was a bit short of parsley in the garden so I used some rocket, mustard and mint along with 3 big spring onions and amazing green garlic from Stepping Stone Farm.

It needed about 2 tablespoons of chickpea flour to become thick enough to handle. 

This mix made 28 felafel, enough to feed around 4 hungry people.

I used sunflower oil for the frying with enough oil to cover them in a small saucepan. I did them in batches of 5 on a medium heat. Too hot and they go really brown before the insides cook.


500g fresh broad beans (the older ones are best – they have more starch)

10 spring onions, chopped

4 cloves garlic

1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or ¼ teaspoon chilli powder

Olive oil for deep frying

I also wandered through the garden and added some rocket, mint and red mustard leaves, so feel free to experiment. It is good insurance to have a little pre-mix packet of dried falafel mix to add if needed.


Shell the broad beans

Using a broad-based food processor, blend the broad beans until starting to bind

Add the remaining ingredients and blend to a fairly smooth paste. Don't over process, some texture is good

Mould into 5cm balls. If the mixture is too wet to mould, you can add a little dried falafel mix. Allow to rest for an hour in the fridge

Place the 5cm balls on a plate and compress them a little in the middle of your thumb just before frying

Deep fry until golden. They will be bright green inside. The falafels shown in the pan will be cooked briefly again before serving. They can also be heated in the oven but aren't quite as crisp



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