Dec 2, 2008

Mexican Falafels

It was one of those nights- feeling lazy, rummaging through the fridge to throw something tasty together for dinner. I had wanted to use some leftover chickpeas to make falafels, but found that they had been sitting on the shelf too long and had just started to go bad (hate when that happens!)... So, I looked in the pantry and found some black beans, and decided to make falafels with a Mexican twist! There were no pita pockets in the house, so I used flour tortillas to add to my theme, and mixed up a creamy hummus sauce to go with them. They were a big hit and didn't take much effort.

Makes about 12 falafel balls, 4 servings


1 can (15 oz) black beans
1 C. TVP (textured vegetable protein- the kind that looks like granola)
1/2 C. vegetable broth
1 T. egg replacer + 1 T. water
1/2 C. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 C. finely chopped red onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (less if you don't like it spicy)
vegetable oil for frying
whole wheat bread crumbs (about 1/2 C.)


Rinse and drain black beans and mash them up in a bowl, just until none of them are whole. In a separate bowl, add vegetable broth to the dry TVP, mix well and set aside to let it combine. In a small bowl or mug, add the water to the egg replacer and beat with a fork until frothy. Add this to the beans. Chop cilantro and onions and add those to the beans, along with all of the spices. Finally, add the rehydrated TVP and mix everything together to form a nice thick mixture. In a large deep frying pan, add vegetable oil (about 1/4" deep)- you can use a deep fryer or use more oil which saves time, but I like to conserve my oil and cook both sides. When the oil is hot enough, form the mixture into golf-sized balls and roll in the bread crumbs. I like to smoosh them into "nuggets" so they'll cook faster. Then gently ease them into the hot oil and fry each side for a minute or two until deep golden brown and heated through. Place them on paper towels or paper bag to soak up the excess oil. Let them cool for a few minutes before constructing your falafel. We used heated tortillas, salad greens, chopped tomatoes, and my hummus sauce. Chopped cucumbers would be great with these too, if I had some!

Hummus Sauce: Add 1/2 C. of Vegannaise to 1/2 C. prepared hummus and 1/2 tsp lemon juice. Add about a T. water to thin it into a gravy-like sauce.

Nutrition Info (falafel balls only): 254 calories/ 9.2g tot fat/ 0.9g sat. fat/ 416mg sodium/ 432mg potassium/ 27.4g tot carbs/ 11g fiber/ 5g sugar/ 17.6g protein


  1. My friends have a Mexican pot-luck dinner every month. I've made Mexican Lasagna and Mexican Samosas, my next idea was Mexican Falafels. Looks like you bet me to it. I was thinking black beans may be too mushy out fo a can, and to use dried beans and soak them for half to 3/4 of the time they are supposed to soak to give black beans the same consistency as chickpeas. I was also contemplating using chili powder/taco seasoning, and topping the felafel balls off with some sort of cheese/cheese sauce.

  2. Hi, MutaBusa! I think using dried black beans with the same method as chickpeas (soaking) would be an interesting idea, and worth trying! Authentic falafel usually has a meatier texture (not mushy), and using canned beans = mush...tasty mush, but still mush.
    I also think your falafels would taste great with chickpeas and Mexican spices- worth a try! Let me know how it turns out!