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Speedy Red Lentil Falafel

Hello everyone, Karen here with another time saving recipe. This time for falafel! For me, Falafel is a staple. I love it! There's a lot of good falafel out there but it's great to make your own because you can alter and tweak the recipe to make it just how you like it trying all kinds of different ingredients.

Traditional falafel uses chickpeas but they require a long soaking time, usually around 12 hours. When I came across red lentil falafels, which require much less time, around 2 hours, it was a game changer.

I've decided to share the original recipe that I use but rest assured, most of these ingredients can be swapped, omitted etc to make your falafel just how you like them.

This recipe is based on one from the book 'Falafel Forever' by Dunja Gulin, which I would highly recommend if you too are a falafel fan! This recipe makes around 26 falafels.


  • 180g split red lentils

  • 70g spinach, finely chopped

  • 5 garlic cloves

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 thumb of ginger, finely chopped

  • 2 tsps mild curry powder

  • 1 tsp ground coriander

  • 1 tsp ground turmeric

  • 1.5 tsp garam masala

  • 1 tsp ground ginger

  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder

  • 1 cup oil for frying


  1. Rinse, drain and then soak the lentils. I leave them overnight but if you are short for time, soak until doubled in size, around 2 hours.

  2. Rinse and drain the lentils again, allow to drain for a good 5/10 mins. If the mixture is too wet, it won't hold together well.

  3. Put all of the ingredients in a food processor and mix until the mixture binds together and is like course sand.

  4. Make small balls using the mixture and then flatten them a little to make them easier to fry. (If they're flat on two sides they're easier to turn midway through cooking)

  5. Heat the oil on a high heat in a small frying pan. It's best to cook them in batches so that they're easier to keep an eye on and you won't need as much oil.

  6. Fry the falafel in batches for two mins on each side. They will look green when they go in but will turn a nice golden brown. Don't be tempted to leave them in too long, it's easy to overdo it and then they can be a little tough/dry.

  7. When cooked, carefully remove them from the frying pan and place on a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.

  8. Continue with the rest in batches.

These are delicious when just cooked but are also great cold. They can be eaten for up to 5 days after if kept in the fridge, and they can be frozen so they make a fab party recipe to make in advance or to batch cook and save for a later day.

I hope you like this recipe if you try them. As I say, feel free to adapt and experiment. Why not try using chard, adding nuts or seeds, using sun dried tomatoes and olives, using fresh herbs or switching some of the herbs and spices. The options are endless!

Thanks for reading. I'll be back soon with a challenge I was set by the team at Village Greens, to make vegan Yorkshire puddings. I've had two attempts so far but I've still not quite perfected them. I'll be back when I do!

Have a lovely April,

Karen x


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