If you like Mediterranean food, this Bean Falafel with Cucumber and Tahini Sauce, is a great take on a classic. A great blend of beans meets tantalizing spices, all formed into a beautiful ball that is fried to a golden brown. Further more, this is truly a delight to eat with the freshness of the cucumber sauce and the richness of the tahini sauce which go beautifully with a nice warm pita and some dressed tomatoes.
Song of the day: "Desert Rose" by Sting, Cheb Mami.
[This post is sponsored by Ontario Bean Growers. We’ve been compensated but -as always- all opinions are our own.]
Why choose Bean Falafel with Cucumber and Tahini Sauce?
For me I love the texture of falafel. Normally it is done with chickpeas but I wanted to try doing it with beans and the end result was very pleasing and delightful. If you were to ask me why choose these falafel, these are the key points I would reiterate:
- They are full of great healthy ingredients.
- The color is a wonderful golden brown.
- As for the aroma, they smell heavenly.
- Bite into one and you are going to be amazed at the texture and flavor with the hints of the Middle East.
- The sauces are fresh, tasty, and accentuate Middle Eastern Flavors, and marry so well with the pureed beans.
- Kids love them, and it is a fun family meal that is very interactive, more so, I love making a wonderful hand held pita wrap. Easy to eat and a great way to have all the flavors delighting the taste buds to no end!
Simple ingredients, easy process!
What I love about this recipe is that the ingredients are simple, things you can find at your local grocery store. Here is what you will need:
For the Falafel:
- cannellini, red kidney, and Romano beans
- purple onion chopped
- coriander seeds or ground coriander
- chickpea flour
- vegetable oil for frying
A food processor, and a few pulses!
The process is easy. Firstly, throw the beans, garlic, onion, spices, and some salt and pepper into a food processor. Secondly, blitz until well incorporated, more so, don't make it too smooth, you want the falafel to have texture. Place that mixture in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and put it in the fridge for one hour.
This is what you will need for the cucumber sauce:
- sour cream
- olive oil mayo
- purple onion
- fresh dill
- lemon juice
Putting together the cucumber sauce
I do the sauces while the falafel mixture is in the fridge. It is so easy. Chop up your garlic, onions, cucumber, and dill really fine. Throw that into a bowl, furthermore, add sour cream, mayo, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Give that a good stir, cover, and place in the fridge.
Last sauce to make. This is what you will need:
- lemon juice
- onion, garlic, and paprika powder
- hot water
Super easy breezy tahini sauce!
Again this sauce is so easy, throw all the ingredients into a bowl, give it a good mix with a whisk cover and set aside. I told you it was easy, was I right?
Time to shape and fry the falafel!
What you will notice when you take the falafel mixture out of the fridge is that it firmed up. This is perfect because we need to shape them. More so, also dredge them in chickpea flour.
How I do this is I use an ice cream scoop and get some of the mixture. My hands are dusted with a little of the chickpea flour and I roll the mixture between the palms of my hands creating a 2-inch ball. I place that into a bowl with some chickpea flour and dredge it.
Then into a hot wok of oil that is around 3 inches deep. I cook them until they are golden brown periodically turning them in the oil with a slotted spoon. Out they come and onto a paper towel lined plate. I do this until all the falafel are done. TIP: Do you have an air fryer? Skip the frying for the air fryer!
I like to serve this Bean Falafel with Cucumber and Tahini Sauce with some pita and cherry tomatoes that I have dressed with olive oil, dried oregano, salt and pepper. Also have handy some fresh chopped parsley, always great for a little pop of color.
Bean falafel with Cucumber and Tahini Sauce, an interactive experience!
I love the Middle Eastern culture. Their passion, hospitality, and the way eating and socializing is intermingled. This is really what comes to mind when I think of this dish. It is all laid out, and you and your family can dive in and create your pita pocket. I like to put the cucumber sauce on the bottom, then the falafel, a little side of tomato and a final drizzle of Tahini sauce and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.
The flavor and textures are heavenly!
I bite into this pita wrap and I am transported. The warm stretchy pita with the charred smoky bits lead me to that lovely sweet, nutty, exotic Tahini sauce. Then there is this crunch of the falafel followed by the richness and creaminess of the middle, nutty, spicy, just wonderful. The cucumber sauce and tomatoes add just enough freshness to keep me excited and interested. Truly amazing!
Make tonight a Middle Eastern fusion experience
Food is what brings us all together. No matter what culture, we all eat and prepare our foods in delicious ways. I can't think of anything better than sitting around a table sharing that love of food and life.
Looking for something fun and different? surprise your family and make them this Bean Falafel with Cucumber and Tahini Sauce, it will make their day!
- 1 cup mixed beans (cannellini, kidney, and Romano beans)
- 1 cup black beans
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 small purple onion, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3 Tbsp chickpea flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- vegetable oil, for frying
- 2 small cucumbers, finely diced
- half a purple onion, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 Tbsp olive oil mayo
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
- salt & pepper to taste
- ½ cup tahini
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp each onion and garlic powder
- a pinch of paprika
- a pinch of sugar
- hot water
- fresh tomatoes dressed with olive oil, dry oregano, salt and pepper
- pita bread
- Place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse till well blended. Do not over puree. The texture should be somewhat coarse and granular.
- Take mixture out of food processor and place in a bowl. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Place diced cucumbers in a medium-size bowl with the minced onion and garlic. Add sour cream, mayo, lemon juice and dill. Mix with a spoon until well incorporated. Season with a dash of salt and pepper and taste.
- Cover, and place in the fridge.
- Put tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and all seasonings in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse, then slowly add hot water until you have a smooth creamy consistency, one that runs off the spoons.
- Pour into a bowl, cover, and set aside.
Forming and cooking the falafel
- Heat up oil in a large wok, about 3 inches in depth. Scoop a tablespoon of mixture into your hand, form a 2-inch ball, and place into a plate with some chickpea flour. Dredge lightly and shake off any excess flour. Continue this until all the mixture is formed.
- Slowly place 3-4 balls at a time into the oil which should be at 360°F.
- Fry for 5-6 minutes or until golden brown, moving the falafel so that all sides cook evenly.
- Place cooked falafel into a paper towel-lined plate.
- Serve with warm pita, the two sauces, tomatoes, and a sprinkle of cilantro. You could also make a pita pocket rolling it into a nice handheld meal.
You could use different beans like pinto, navy, white kidney beans.
For the garnishes be creative, maybe pickled eggplant, grilled peppers, it is really up to you!
You can use an air fryer to "fry" the bean falafels.
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
- Category: Main, Vegetarian
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern Fusion
Keywords: falafel, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, tahini sauce, cucumber sauce, middle eastern cuisine, pita, fun food,
When I am not cooking, I enjoy playing musical instruments, singing, writing. I have learned over the years to live in gratitude and enjoy the moment.