Thursday, 12 September 2013

Adzuki Bean Falafel with Tahini dressing

I had a good work out this morning which I am pleased about - the only thing is that I am now really hungry and will be wanting to eat everything I can lay my hands on.  I'll try not to undo all the good work :-)

Falafel wrap
Just as well that I made a batch of falafel yesterday which made for a very tasty and healthy choice for lunch today. 

Stuffed in a tortilla bread (shock, horror - this one was shop-bought :-)) and drizzled with a tahini dressing, these little bean balls were delicious.  Instead of the usual chick peas I opted for tinned adzuki beans because that's all I had - I reckon you can use pretty much any type of canned bean such as kidney, black,...  As with so many things, the secret is in the seasoning - I found that ground cumin was essential in this recipe and if you are using beans canned in just water (rather than salt water), remember to add a bit more salt.

Most recipes suggest using a food processor to mash up the beans but to be honest, I found that a good old potato masher or large fork and a bowl work equally well (easier to clean afterwards as well).  The falafel can be eaten hot or cold and would make a great addition to any lunchbox.

Luckily, I have a few of these leftover in case I get the munchies later on.... :-)

Adzuki Bean Falafel (makes 9 falafel)


For the falafel
1 x 400g can adzuki beans, drained & rinsed
3 tbsp flour
1 egg, beaten
1 small onion, cut into small pieces
1 - 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp cumin
a little chilli powder (depending on how hot you like it)
a handful of fresh coriander/cilantro (or some dried & ground if you don't have any)

a squeeze of lemon or lime juice
salt, pepper
a little vegetable oil for frying

For the tahini dressing
125ml tahini (sesame paste)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
juice of half a lemon
a little olive oil
optional: a little water to dilute the sauce a bit

  1. In a bowl mash up the drained beans with a fork or potato masher - it's good to leave a bit of texture.
  2. In a small frying pan, soften the onion and garlic, then add to the mashed beans.
  3. Add all the other falafel ingredients and mix well to combine.
  4. Using a tablespoon or ice-cream scoop, take some of the mixture and form into a patty.  Place on a plate and repeat until you have used up all the mix (which might feel a little sticky/wet - that's fine).  Put the plate into the fridge for 20 minutes to leave to rest.
  5. Heat up the oil in a frying pan (approx. 2 tbsp - you shouldn't need too much) and when hot, add the falafel balls/patties.
  6. Fry for about 5 - 7 minutes, turning frequently and adding more oil to the pan if needed.
  7. Once browned and crisped up, remove from the pan onto a plate lined with a couple of sheets of kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.
  8. For the tahini dressing, simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl and drizzle the sauce on top of the falafel or use as a dipping sauce.
Note:  Instead of the tahini dressing, you could just use some lightly seasoned plain yoghurt with fresh mint or coriander/cilantro.


  1. I have never made falafels and only yesterday I was thinking of making some. I have never seen adzuki beans in tins but I do have some dried. I might have to make some, however I think I will start with a tin of chick peas in this first instances.

    1. I hope this recipe will wirk for you. Chickpeas will be delicious in this - making my mouth water :-) Have a lovely weekend! Kirsten x