Turmeric Falafel + Harissa Tahini

February 4, 2015

Turmeric Falafel + Harissa Tahini | Faring Well | #vegan #glutenfree #recipeTurmeric Falafel + Harissa Tahini | Faring Well | #vegan #glutenfree #recipeTurmeric Falafel + Harissa Tahini | Faring Well | #vegan #glutenfree #recipe

This is one of those times where I don’t feel like I should be writing. It’s the time I set aside for this post today, however, so here I am. It’s day two and a half of Jessie without Scott while he is at his work retreat. I’m so stoked for him to be there, that much is true, and it makes me happy to think of him in a beautiful snowy cabin in the mountains with all these crazy talented people that make up the company which employs him. However, I’m lonely. I miss my bud. Every time he is away it is made even more clear to me how much of my life revolves around him, and I love it. I love having someone to make food for, clean up after, consider their thoughts, feelings, preferences. I love basing my schedule on his, making plans with him, doing nothing with him. I love having someone to help me out, make me relax, bounce all my crazy ideas off of, and laugh. I know, MUSH, but you know what? TRUTH! So I’m saying it, HE IS THE LOVE OF MY LIFE AND I WANT HIM BACK. Okay there, now you can go make these falafels.

Turmeric Falafel + Harissa Tahini | Faring Well | #vegan #glutenfree #recipeTurmeric Falafel + Harissa Tahini | Faring Well | #vegan #glutenfree #recipe

I have a habit of starting a recipe with one flavor inspiration, then piling on one after another, and usually end up with a recipe five flavor layers deep. This is one of those recipes. My goodness people, the flavors. It goes like this: first you put turmeric in the falafel batter and it turns out stellar. Then you make harissa and are like WOAH this stuff is great. Then you blend said harissa in a tahini sauce, have a little flavor melt down, and do a happy harissa-tahini-sauce-dance in your kitchen. Then you make za’atar from scratch and want to sprinkle it on evvverything. Then you make a lemony cucumber tomato salad because why not. Then you combine all of these things in a ginormous romaine leaf, take a bite, and faint from flavor overload. You wake up happier than a pizza pocket and do it again. Sound magical? This could be your life. Instructions below.

Turmeric Falafel + Harissa Tahini | Faring Well | #vegan #glutenfree #recipeTurmeric Falafel + Harissa Tahini | Faring Well | #vegan #glutenfree #recipeTurmeric Falafel + Harissa Tahini | Faring Well | #vegan #glutenfree #recipe

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Tid-bits: If cooking the chickpeas from scratch I recommend using this method. If buying pre-cooked, might I suggest purchasing ones that are organic and that have been packaged in a BPA-free lined can such as these. As for this ingredient and instruction list you are about to marvel at – don’t let it hinder you! Each component can be made ahead of time if you wish. Plus you don’t have to make the harissa and za’atar from scratch like I did if you already have those on hand!

Makes 22 falafel balls. About 12 ounces of harissa. 2 happy servings of harissa tahini. 4 servings cucumber salad. About 1/4 cup za’atar.

3 cups cooked chickpeas
1 bunch fresh parsley
1 bunch fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves
juice from half a lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
few dashes of cayenne and paprika

5 New Mexico chilis
5 guajillo chilis
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
juice of 1 lemon

harissa tahini
1 tablespoon pure sesame seed butter tahini
1 teaspoon harissa paste
juice of half a lemon
1 clove of garlic or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt to taste I used about 1/4 teaspoon
water to thin

1 tablespoon sumac
2 teaspoons thyme
2 teaspoons sesame seeds hulled
2 teaspoons majoram
2 teaspoons oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt

tomato cucumber salad
1 cucumber
2 tomatos I used roma
juice from 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

large romaine leaves for serving

For the falafels, rinse and drain your chickpeas well and add them to the food processor bowl. Rinse the cilantro and parsley, and chop off the stems. Place the leaves, as well as the rest of the ingredients listed, with the chickpeas and herbs in the processor bowl and blend. Pause to scrape down the sides and give a bit of a stir in between blending to make sure everything gets evenly incorporated (pictured above). Scoop the falafel batter using a spoon or cookie scoop into balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet (or plates). Bake if eating right away (instructions below), or place the sheet/plates in the freezer to allow the falafels to freeze. Once frozen (about 1 to 2 hours) place in a freezer safe container or bag and keep in the freezer until ready to use. Thaw in the refrigerator before baking.

When ready to bake the falafels, preheat the oven to 375F and bake the falafels on a parchment lines cookie sheet for 20 minutes. Flipping carefully after 10 minutes to get even browning on both sides.

For the harissa, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the chilis to the pot, turn off the heat, and cover. Make sure all of the chilis are submerged in the hot water, rotate the chilis from top to bottom after 15 minutes if necessary. Once the chilis are hydrated, drain the water from the pan, remove the seeds and stems, and place the chilis in a blender. Toast the seeds in a dry pan on the stove set to low heat. Toss every few minutes to keep from burning. They are done when they have slightly browned and are fragrant (about 5-8 minutes). Add the toasted seeds, garlic, lemon juice, and salt to the blender with your chilis (you can also use a small food processor, or an immersion blender with a small mixing bowl). Puree the harissa into a paste. Use right away and store the leftover in an airtight jar in the refrigerator.

For the tahini, blend all of the listed ingredients together. Add the water last, one tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. This makes enough to serve 3 or 4, but feel free to double or triple it to use throughout the week, its that good. Store any leftover in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to one week.

For the za’atar, combine the listed ingredients in a small bowl and toss. You can amp up the flavor by toasting the sesame seeds in a dry pan on the stove set to low heat for about 5 minutes if you have the time. Make sure to toss to keep from burning and remove when slightly browned and fragrant. Keep leftover za’atar in an airtight jar in your pantry.

For the tomato cucumber salad, quarter the cucumber and slice into 1/4 inch thick pieces. Finely chop the tomatoes and toss with the cucumber, lemon juice, plus salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready. Keep leftovers in the refrigerator as well and use within a few days.

To assemble the falafels, take a large romaine leaf and place three falafel balls inside. Scoop a few spoonfuls of the tomato cucumber salad on top, drizzle with harissa tahini, and sprinkle za’atar on top to finish it off. Dig and and experience the FLAVOR.


  • Reply Nicollette D February 4, 2015 at 6:48 am

    OH. MY. Goodness. These are so, so gorgeous. Can’t wait to make a batch!

    • Reply Faring Well February 4, 2015 at 12:01 pm

      Thank you so much Nicollette! I super hope you get to make some soon! :)

  • Reply Kathryn February 4, 2015 at 7:51 am

    You always manage to make food that I need to eat right now this very minute. This is pretty much all of my favourites in one (plus the more tumeric in my diet the better) + I can’t wait to make these at the weekend!

    • Reply Faring Well February 4, 2015 at 12:02 pm

      Haha that is awesome! And I know right, I kind of just kept piling on all of my favorites too until I exploded with flava-happiness ;). I cannot wait for you to get to make them too!

  • Reply Camilla February 4, 2015 at 8:15 am

    Hi! I found out your blog just a few days ago and I immediately developed a huge blog-crush on it! Your food ideas are interesting and always sound very good. Plus you have great photographing skills! I’m looking forward for more amazing posts! And I can’t wait to try this falafel recipe over the weekend.
    Ps: the sauce looks to die for!
    Kisses, Camilla

    • Reply Faring Well February 4, 2015 at 12:02 pm

      Ah! Thank you! That made me smile. Hope you get to make these and LOVE THEM!

  • Reply Caitlin February 4, 2015 at 9:19 am

    these photos are absolutely stunning, lady. i’m the same way, i love my bud. ain’t no shame. we the lucky ones.

    • Reply Faring Well February 4, 2015 at 12:03 pm

      Aint no shame indeed! And thank you Caitlin, making me smile <3

  • Reply Jodi February 4, 2015 at 10:17 am

    I’m sure he’s just read this and is now making a bee-line straight home for your kitchen. Hopefully you saved him some, if that’s even at all possible. These flavors! If piling on flavors on flavors is a habit, then it’s definitely a good one! Killin’ it, Jessie. Cherish the time to yourself as much as you can, xx

    • Reply Faring Well February 4, 2015 at 12:04 pm

      Haha I don’t know if he has read it yet but he did just get HOME! YAY! Happy dance commence! And thanks so much for the flavor love, thank you thank you Jodi!

  • Reply renee (will frolic for food) February 4, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    I WANT TO GO TO THERE. I have almost everything for this recipe except the peppers. But I’m determined to follow it to the letter, as there’s not one thing I want to change about it. So I guess this is going to be dinner tomorrow (after I find those peppers at the fancy spice market tomorrow morning). I want to dive into this.

    • Reply Faring Well February 5, 2015 at 10:51 am

      You are awesome – way to commit!! I hope they have the chilis for you. I had to order mine on Amazon, and now I have wayyy too many dried chilis. Haha. Good thing they have a long shelf life! Cannot wait for you to dive into this.

  • Reply shelley February 4, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    This looks, and sounds, so incredibly delicious. SO. MANY. FLAVOURS. Love it! Also, that first paragraph basically puts into words everything I think about when the man’s out of town, but have never actually formulated it into a cohesive thought. I needed that. Thanks girl x

    • Reply Faring Well February 5, 2015 at 10:53 am

      Ah thank you so much Shelley! And glad to have put that thought into words for you – its so hard! Hope you’re having a great week, my man is back so now I am too! <3

  • Reply Tuulia @ Tuulia Talvio February 5, 2015 at 2:12 am

    Aahh I love falafels so so much! And loved you honesty, there’s no shame of admitting how you truly feel as it’s just so great to read authentic words from someone. Gotta make these soon, thanks for the inspiration!

    • Reply Faring Well February 5, 2015 at 10:53 am

      Thanks so much Tuulia! And I know right, falafels are one of my faves! I hope you get to make these soon, by far the best flavor I’ve had yet!

  • Reply dishing up the dirt February 5, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Hang in there! I can relate to being lonely when my husband is away. I joke with him that I have separation anxiety but really, it’s just a lot of love. Thank god for a good kitchen and plenty of wine. These falafel look great. I just so happen to have a ton of za’atar and harissa already whipped up. Score!

    • Reply Faring Well February 5, 2015 at 10:55 am

      MAJOR SCORE, you’re practically halfway there! And I know right, fine line, anxiety/love/anxiety/love – I call it love too :)

  • Reply Sini | My Blue&White Kitchen February 6, 2015 at 2:17 am

    So much love in this post <3 Also, those falafel and that tahini (!!) look superb! Thanks for the chickpea cooking tip; adding baking soda to the soaking liquid sounds interesting! Will definitely try this method next time.

    Hope you have a fab weekend,

    • Reply Faring Well February 6, 2015 at 7:25 am

      Sini, thank you! Seriously, that tahini broke some flavor records in my kitchen, so much love! And totally, I was so stoked when Green Kitchen Stories shared that tip!! Glad to pass it along. Hope you have a stellar weekend too! <3

  • Reply dorota @ plants on the plate February 7, 2015 at 5:50 am

    i need to make these as soon as possible, the recipe just screams sun and heat and energy and all things good. given the cold and snow i think i’ll stick to carbs and wrap the whole lot in pita and since tomatoes here taste like yucky water i might end up pickling some beets but the more colors the merrier no? best, dorota.

    • Reply Faring Well February 7, 2015 at 8:14 am

      Love your substitutions – work with the season! And thanks so much, it totally brightened up my day when I was having a case of the winter blues!

  • Reply Millie | Add A Little February 8, 2015 at 1:44 am

    These look amazing! I adore falafels and these look drop dead gorgeous!

    • Reply Faring Well February 9, 2015 at 9:54 am

      Thanks so much Millie! You’re the sweetest!

  • Reply kathleen March 7, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    how can I print out your recipes?

    • Reply Faring Well March 8, 2015 at 9:15 am

      I don’t have a print function for my recipes, I’m sorry, but if you click to view just an individual post and print the webpage that could work!

  • Reply Catherine March 10, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Quite apart from the fact that the idea of green falafels BLOWS MY MIND…I love your photography as well. So happy to have found your blog!


    • Reply Faring Well March 16, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      Aw yay, glad you are enjoying it, thanks Catherine!! <3

  • Reply lynsey | lynseylovesfood.com March 24, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Harissa tahini…omg. this is happening in my kitchen asap. so in love with this idea that i find it hard to think i haven’t ever thought of it before. beautiful little wraps of colourful goodness. thanks for sharing. xo

    • Reply Faring Well March 24, 2015 at 6:29 pm

      Thank you so so much Lynsey! And right?! I had the same thought when I first discovered the delicious combo – super excited for you to give it a try!

  • Reply Fran June 2, 2015 at 4:34 am

    I’m baking these off & the smell is amazing! I cut the recipe in 1/2 & used less herbs ( spring garden being in its early stages ) & added dill. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Reply Faring Well June 2, 2015 at 3:36 pm

      That sounds wonderful! So glad you are getting to enjoy these :)

  • Reply Reena March 29, 2016 at 9:35 am

    I’ve just discovered your blog via Pinterest and oh my god these look insanely good! I love all of those flavours so will be sure to try them together. Thanks for sharing, totally inspired :)


    • Reply Faring Well March 29, 2016 at 12:59 pm

      Aw thank you! I’m so glad you found me, and I hope you get to make and enjoy these soon – they are super YUM! xoxo

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