Quinoa Falafel with Red Cabbage Slaw


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Quinoa Cookbook

The Quinoa Cookbook

By Penny Doyle

Published 2013

  • About

Falafel originated in Egypt and evolved as street food in the Middle East, served with salad and tahini in pitta bread, or served as part of a mezze. They are most often made with broad beans, or chickpeas, but here quinoa makes a tasty and effective addition. The crunchy slaw and herby dressing complement the spicy falafel perfectly.


For the falafel

  • 250 g/9 oz/1 cup canned chickpeas (drained weight)
  • 225 g/8 oz/ cups cooked pearl quinoa
  • 25 g/1 oz/¼ cup quinoa flour
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • a good handful of fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 10 ml/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 10 ml/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp Tabasco sauce
  • 45 ml/3 tbsp quinoa flour, for shaping
  • 45 ml/3 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 warmed pitta breads, sliced up the edge, to serve

For the dressing

  • 150 g/5 oz/scant cup natural (plain) yogurt
  • 5 ml/1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 5 ml/1 tsp tomato purée (paste)
  • 5 ml/1 tsp fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped

For the red cabbage slaw

  • 50 g/2 oz/ cup very finely sliced red cabbage
  • 50 g/2 oz/ cup peeled and grated carrot
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), finely sliced
  • 60 ml/4 tbsp crème fraîche


  1. First make the falafel mixture. Place the chickpeas, cooked pearl quinoa, quinoa flour, onion, coriander, garlic, crème fraîche, cumin, ground coriander and Tabasco sauce in a food processor.
  2. Season well with salt and pepper and gradually pulse until the mixture is blended, but not completely smooth.
  3. If preparing by hand, in a large bowl, break up the chickpeas using the flat end of the rolling pin, then beat them into the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Using your hands, roll the mixture into 16 balls, using quinoa flour to prevent the mixture sticking. You can set these aside in the refrigerator at this stage if you like, for cooking later.
  5. Prepare the yogurt dressing by mixing together the ingredients in a small bowl. Season to taste and chill.
  6. Prepare the cabbage slaw by mixing together all of the ingredients in a bowl, season to taste and chill.
  7. Heat the rapeseed oil in a large frying pan and lightly fry the falafels for about 5-8 minutes, turning regularly to ensure even browning. Fry in batches if the frying pan isn’t large enough to hold all of them. Drain the falafel on kitchen paper, until they are all cooked.
  8. Serve warm, or at room temperature, tucked into a pitta bread, filled with cabbage slaw and drizzled with coriander and yogurt dressing.


Falafel are also great cold, dipped in hummus, as part of a picnic.

Nutritional Information: Gluten free without pitta Energy 621kcal/2609kJ; Protein 20g; Carbohydrate 84g, of which sugars 11g; Fat 26g, of which saturates 8g; Cholesterol 25mg; Calcium 280mg; Fibre 6g; Sodium 596mg.