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Falafel Patties with Rice

30 pieces (10 servings)

Appetizers & Snacks

Delight in lighter-textured falafels with a Middle-Eastern twist.

Savour the flavours of this updated Middle-Eastern classic falafel recipe with Tahini sauce. The addition of rice to the traditional ingredients of chick peas, herbs and spices, creates a lighter textured patty. These falafels can be served as single portions – perfect for appetizers or children or as a main meal for those with heartier appetites.

Brown Rice

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  • 1 cup (250 mL) dried chickpeas

  • 1 small onion, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh parsley

  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice

  • 2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin and ground coriander

  • 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) each salt, baking powder and paprika

  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper

  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) chickpea (gram) flour or all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup (250 mL) cooked and cooled U.S. brown rice

  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) (approx) vegetable oil

  • 5 pita breads

  • 2 or 3 tomatoes, thinly sliced

  • half cucumber, seeded and thinly sliced

  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) finely diced red onion (optional)

Lemon Tahini Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) tahini

  • 6 tbsp (90 mL) lemon juice

  • 6 tbsp (90 mL) water

  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt, freshly ground pepper and ground cumin


Step 1

  • In large bowl, pour enough cold water over chickpeas to cover by 2 inches (5 cm); let stand for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

  • Drain well.

Step 2

  • In food processor, coarsely chop chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, salt, baking powder, paprika and cayenne, stopping to scrape down sides once or twice.

  • Add flour until blended, about 5 seconds.

  • Add rice, pulsing just until incorporated with some grains remaining.

  • Let stand for 30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.

Lemon Tahini Sauce:

Step 1

  • In small bowl, whisk tahini with lemon juice until smooth.

  • Whisk in enough water to make pourable sauce.

Step 2

  • Pour enough oil in heavy-bottomed skillet to come 1/4 inch (5 mm) up side of pan; heat over medium heat.

  • Shape mixture by heaping tablespoonfuls into balls; flatten to 1/2 –inch (1 cm) thickness.

  • In batches, fry falafel patties, turning once, until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes.

  • Transfer to paper towel-lined plate to drain.

  • Transfer to baking tray and keep warm in 200°F (100°C) oven while cooking remaining patties.

Step 3

  • Cut each pita in half; open to form pocket.

  • Stuff each with 3 falafel patties, plus some of the tomatoes and cucumber.

  • Drizzle with lemon tahini sauce; sprinkle with red onion, if using.

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