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Black Bean Falafel with Heirloom Tomato Salsa

Servings: 24 falafel, depending on size
Author: Samantha Ferraro


Black Bean Falafel

  • 1 1/2 cup Dried black beans
  • 1/2 cup Dried garbanzo beans
  • 1 onion cut in quarters
  • 4-5 garlic cloves peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 small bunch fresh cilantro about 1 cup
  • 1/2 Jalapeno seeded and chopped (optional)
  • 1 Tb coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 Tb cumin
  • 3 Tb flour
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt + more for after frying
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Heirloom Tomato Salsa

  • 1-2 small heirloom tomatoes chopped small
  • 1/2 jalapeno seeded and finely chopped
  • few sprigs of fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 lime juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cucumber-Mint Yogurt

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 4-5 fresh mint leaves chopped
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1/4 of a small Persian cucumber peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Soak dried black beans and chickpeas overnight in a large bowl filled with water. The black beans will turn the water black, which is just fine.
  • The next day, drain the chickpeas and pulse them in a food processor until crumbly and there are no whole beans left. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • In the same food processor, pulse together the onion, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper and flour. Pulse together until it almost looks like a paste. Add parsley mixture to beans and then add baking powder and soda just before frying. Mix everything well.
  • Heat a large skillet with vegetable oil and bring oil up to about 370 degrees F. You can test to see if the oil is hot by dropping a small piece of batter in. If it sizzles, it's ready.
  • Use a large tablespoon and form batter into balls. I scoop about 2 tablespoons worth and form a ball between your hands.
  • Carefully place the falafel in the hot oil. You can fit 4-5 in at once but don't overcrowd the pan. Fry on 1 side until you can see it browning on the sides, about 4-5 minutes. Then flip over and fry other side.
  • When done, place them on a paper toweled line baking sheet and immediately sprinkle with salt.
  • To make the salsa, add chopped tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeno and lime juice together. Season with salt and pepper and taste for seasoning.
  • To make the yogurt-mint sauce, simple add Greek yogurt, chopped mint, lemon juice, and chopped cucumber in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil on top.
  • Assemble falafel by spreading the mint yogurt sauce on the pita, then falafel and top with heirloom tomato salsa. This also tastes amazing in fresh butter lettuce cups.


Falafel mixture can be made ahead prior to adding baking powder and baking soda.
The mint-yogurt sauce is in rough measurements, make as much or as little as desired.
To re-heat falafel, place them on baking sheet in 350 F degree oven until warm.