Falafel Plate with Beet Hummus


There is not a single decent falafel available near my home. You'd think, living in a big city, falafel places would be in abundance. You're right - they are - but they're generally terrible examples of deep friend, oily, under seasoned food gone wrong.

This recipe for home made falafel, and amzazingly pink beet hummus, has a few parts - all easy and quick if you have the right ingredients. Vegetarian food is often thought to be boring, bland and full of kale. I know that in my life, this is certainly not the case. This is an example of a vegetarian dish that is flavourful, texturally interesting and, best of all, good for you.


Beet Hummus


1 can chick peas - rinsed and drained

1 whole beet - roasted*

3 tbsp tahini

1 clove garlic, peeled

juice of one lemon

olive oil 


cumin powder

warm water as required


You will need a food processor for this recipe. If you don't have one, store-bought hummous will work, too.

1. grate garlic on the fine side of a box grater, or, through a microplane.

2. in a food processor, fitted with a regular blade, add the grated garlic and tahini and blend until smooth (30 seconds or so).

3. add 1/3 of the chickpeas to the processor and blend until smooth. If the mixture looks too thick, add a little warm water.

4. continue to add chickpeas in thirds, adding water when necessary.

5. once the hummous is looking smooth and delicious, add lemon juice, salt, cumin and the whole roasted beet. blend until well combined.

6. now, with the processor running, drizzle olive oil in through the spout until the hummous is smooth and has the texture of...hummous.

7. taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.

* to roast a beet, wash and wrap it in a loose tinfoil pouch with a little olive oil. place in a 425° oven for 35-40 mins or until the beet is tender. peel off the skins and you're ready to go.

Falafel Patties (adapted from Just A Taste)


1 small onion

2 cloves garlic

1 can of chickpeas - rinsed and drained

1 cup mixed herbs - I use cilantro and parsley

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp cayenne

zest of one lemon

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp ground coriander

salt and pepper - to taste

3/4 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

olive oil


1. add onion and garlic to food processor and pulse until fine.

2. add chickpeas, herbs, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper and spices to the food processor and pulse until just combined - you don't want this to become a soggy paste.

3. add baking powder and flour in spoonfuls as you pulse, until the mixture begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl and ball up.

4. turn the mixture out into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for an hour or so.

5. after an hour, remove the falafel mixture from the fridge and, using a spoon, scoop into your hand and form small patties - 2 inches in diameter.

6. once falafel patties are formed, heat oil in a wide, non stick skillet.

7. when the oil is hot, add the falafel patties but don't overcrowd the pan. 

8. cook until falafel patties are golden brown on both sides.

I serve this with a big spoonful of beet hummus in the middle of the plate. Pile on a couple of falafels, roasted beets, dill pickle wedges, sliced cucumbers, simple green salad, pickled hot peppers and some cherry tomatoes tossed with vinegar, oil and basil and you have yourself an amazingly delicious meal.