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  • Writer's pictureHonest Cooks

Falafel & Hummus Bowl

Falafel and Hummus Bowl with Couscous is a great vegetarian meal for when you want to eat healthy & eat at home. My bowl is packed with protein & the flavors are balanced with tangy tabbouleh, cucumber-tomato salad, as well as a garlic tahini sauce.



What's in the bowl?

This bowl has Falafels, Hummus, Pearled Couscous, tangy Tabbouleh, refreshing Cucumber-tomato salad, and yummy garlic tahini sauce.

Falafel is usually made with dry chickpeas that are soaked overnight. But I have come up with an instant falafel recipe with canned chickpeas that is just as flavorful and delicious. To find out my secret ingredient, keep reading!



What is Falafel?

Falafel is a popular Middle Eastern street food made of a mixture of chickpeas (or sometimes fava beans), fresh herbs, and spices that are formed into a small patties or balls & then deep fried or baked. It’s thought that falafel originated in Egypt as a hearty replacement for meat during long seasons of fasting or lent. It has also become a popular vegan food in the rest of the world as well. Often paired with hummus, falafel when wrapped in a pita can become a full meal.

My vegan recipe is made with simple, everyday ingredients and you won’t believe how easy it is. Great ingredients are key to great falafel so be sure to purchase high quality spices for your falafel mixture.


- Canned chickpeas: We are using canned chickpeas! Traditionally, dry chickpeas are used that have been soaked overnight in room temperature water. But this recipe is INSTANT falafel recipe & we will be using canned chickpeas.


- Roasted Chickpea Flour: This is my secret ingredient. Roasted chickpea flour will give the falafels the authentic taste and mouthfeel! (Here is what I use)


- Fresh cilantro: fresh cilantro is the key to the freshness in this recipe.

- Onion: I typically use white onions, but yellow or red onions would work.

- Garlic: for best flavor, use fresh garlic cloves. I have already minced mine so they blend well.

- Spices: coriander powder and a little cayenne pepper.

- Baking powder: this is what gives falafel an airy, fluffy texture (many recipes skip this, causing the falafel to come out too dense.)


What is hummus?


Most everyone knows hummus. It’s the quintessential Middle Eastern dip made by blending chickpeas with tahini, garlic, and lots of lime juice.

This authentic homemade hummus recipe is so much easier to make than most people think and way better than the store bought stuff!


I love this recipe because it's simple and uses just a few ingredients. But a few tips make all the difference in this hummus recipe, so be sure to read on.

- Canned chickpeas: Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are the star ingredient in hummus.

- Tahini: Tahini is a rich, nutty and slightly bitter paste made from toasted sesame seeds. (You can find my go-to tahini paste here).

- Extra Virgin Olive Oil. A generous drizzle of quality extra virgin olive oil is the way to finish and serve this dip the authentic way. Also use Olive Oil to blend the hummus. (You can find my go-to extra virgin olive oil here)


- Garnish. Not to be underestimated. My favorite way to garnish a bowl of hummus is with Extra Virgin Olive Oil poured right in the middle and few shakes of paprika or cayenne or Sumac.


Tabbouleh:


Tabbouleh is likely the topmost famed Mediterranean/Middle Eastern salad there is. It usually has bulgur in it but the one we are making today has no bulgur. The true star in my tabbouleh recipe is the very finely chopped cilantro--lots of it! Cilantro holds well against the lime juice and that's why this is even better the next day.

This tabbouleh salad has finely minced red onions, roma tomatoes and cilantro (but you can also use parsley). The flavors are brought together with lots of lime juice and salt.


Wow, that was a lot of information! Let's talk about the recipe now!


Ingredients:

There are several different elements in the bowl. These are the ingredients for 4 bowls.


- Falafel:

  1. canned chickpeas: 2 cans or 500 gm or 1.1 lb

    1. for traditional method: use 500 gm of dry chickpeas. Read method here.

  2. cilantro, washed and dried: 3 oz

  3. garlic, finely minced: 2 oz

  4. white onion, diced: 4 oz

  5. roasted chickpea flour: 4 oz

  6. baking powder: 1 tsp

  7. ground coriander: 1 tsp

  8. ground black pepper: 1 tsp

  9. salt: 1.5 tsp

  10. lime juice: 2 tbsp

- Hummus:

  1. canned chickpeas: 10 oz or ~280 gm

  2. tahini: 5 oz

  3. garlic, minced: 2 oz

  4. extra virgin olive oil: 4 oz

  5. salt & pepper: 1 tsp each

  6. ground cumin: 1 tsp

- Tabbouleh:

  1. cilantro: 1 bunch

  2. red onions: 2.5 oz

  3. roma tomatoes: 4 oz

  4. lime juice: 2 tbsp

  5. extra virgin olive oil: 2 tbsp

  6. salt: 1 tsp

- Tomato Cucumber Salad:

  1. cherry tomatoes: 10 oz

  2. cucumber: 8 oz

  3. salt: 1 tsp

  4. lime juice: 1 tbsp

- Garlic Tahini Sauce:

  1. Tahini: 3 oz

  2. mayo: 2 oz

  3. garlic, minced: 1 clove

- Couscous:

  1. pearled couscous: 16 oz

  2. water, room temp: as per packet instructions

  3. olive oil: as per packet instructions

  4. salt: as per packet instructions

Directions:

We'll start with hummus and finish with falafel so that by the time we finish cooking, falafels are piping hot & everything else is ready to assemble into bowls.


- Hummus:

  1. To make the Hummus, measure out all the ingredients.

  2. Drain the chickpeas and discard the water.

  3. Add all the ingredients into a blending jar, EXCEPT olive oil.

  4. Run the blender and pour the olive oil from the side to emulsify the hummus into a smooth paste. *Read NOTES to avoid grainy hummus.

  5. Remove in a bowl, make a well in the middle. Add more olive oil and cayenne OR paprika OR sumac as garnish.

- Couscous:

  1. Cook couscous as per packet instructions.

  2. Generally 16 oz of pearled couscous will take about 15-18 mins.

  3. I started mine in room temp water, with olive oil & salt. Then, I cooked it on medium flame for 8 mins with lid ON.

  4. After 8 mins, I cooked for 5 mins with lid OFF on medium.

  5. Then, for 4 more mins on low heat with lid ON.

  6. All the time, stirring occasionally.

- Tomato Cucumber Salad:

  1. Chop cucumber after peeling it. Remove seeds if too watery.

  2. Chop cherry tomatoes right down the middle.

  3. Mix both, add lime juice, salt, & mix again.

  4. Set aside until needed for assembly.

- Tabbouleh:

  1. Wash and dry cilantro.

  2. Mince red onions, tomatoes, cilantro as fins as possible.

  3. I recommend using a knife over a blender to have more control over mincing.

  4. Mix all together, add lime juice & salt. Mince more if needed.

  5. Add olive oil, mix, cover and set aside for assembly.

- Garlic Tahini Sauce:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk.

  2. Add a dash of water to loosen up, if tahini is too thick.

  3. Set aside until needed for plating.

- Falafel:

Like I said before, I did a few trials to come up with an instant falafel recipe. Falafels are usually made with dry chickpeas that are soaked in water overnight & used the following day. But, sometimes you don't want to wait an entire day to enjoy homemade falafels. For such falafel cravings, here is the instant recipe. The traditional recipe is right after the instant one.


Falafel - instant method:

  1. Measure out everything & drain the chickpeas. But do NOT discard the liquid.

  2. Blend everything & add the liquid from the chickpeas if needed, to loosen the mixture.

  3. When it all comes together, do not over blend. Remove on a plate & we can begin to shape. If your mixture is sticky to touch, refer notes here.

  4. To shape these, take a dollop in your hands and make a patty. Keep them all roughly the same size for even frying.

  5. Fry these in hot oil that is at least 325 F.

  6. Flip to cook to golden brown on both sides. Remove on paper towels & serve piping hot!

Falafel - traditional method:

  1. Soak chickpeas is room temp water for at least 8 - 10 hours. Use 1:2 ratio for chickpea to water. So, if you are using 500 gm of dry chickpeas, you will need 1000 ml OR 1 liter of water to soak these. At the end of 10 hours, if these are still hard when pressed with your fingers, soak for more time. Chickpeas should collapse when pressed with your fingers. When this stage of soaked chickpeas is achieved, you are ready to blend.

The rest of the steps are the same as for the instant method.


NOTES:

  1. To avoid getting grainy hummus, you have to make sure your blender is not getting too hot when running it for long durations. Sometimes, when machines age, they heat with use. If this is happening, add 2-3 cubes of ice into the blending jar. This will keep the hummus cool & you will not end up with grainy hummus.

  2. If your falafel mixture is sticky to touch after blending, cover and rest it in the fridge for 30 mins. If it is still sticky after resting, add more chickpea flour, start with 1 Tbsp. and add more if needed.


Thanks for reading! You can PIN this image to come back to it later! :)

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