Falafel Poppers – The Healthy Snack

Apr 17, 2011 by

Today I saw a lady eating a purple yam on the train. My initial reaction was to find this odd and a little disgusting. Surely there must have been a more preferable locale to consume such a snack. She immediately became the social outcast on the train. Of course, she would have seemed less odd had she opened a bar of Twix or a Twinkie or any other lab food!

Then I realized that she was clearly more nutritionally conscious than the rest of us. She was eating the ultimate whole food – a cooked yam, with the skin.

It made me think that with just a little effort and great service to our health, we could prepare tasty nutritional snacks. We would just have to reeducate ourselves and accept that they will have a shorter shelf life…after all, it is pretty tough to compete with ‘expiration 2020′. This led me to my quest for satisfying snacks on the run and ultimately to today’s entry of Falafel Poppers. Tiny bites of ground chickpea crunch followed by a fluffy interior, the falafel is both scrumptious and nutritious. You can throw it in your bag on the way to the office or serve it in a pita pocket with salad and Tahini sauce for dinner and if there are any left overs, be sure to freeze them.


2 cups of dried chickpeas (soaked in water for 6 hours)
4 cloves minced garlic
½ onion (minced)
1T chopped cilantro
1T chopped parsley
1T lemon juice
2 t bicarbonate soda
4oz bread crumbs
1-2 tbsn of plain youghurt
½ t chili powder
1t ground cumin seeds
2t ground coriander seeds
Frying oil


1) Put the chickpeas in a food processor and pulse a few times until coarsely ground, transfer to mixing bowl and combine with the onions, garlic, cilantro, parsley salt and spices
2) Add the yoghurt, lemon juice and baking soda and set aside for 1 hour
3) Rub a little oil on your hands and make 1” balls and deep fry until golden brown

Serving Suggestions

As a snack, falafels can be eaten on their own or alternatively stuff them with some salad and yoghurt garlic sauce in a pita and make a meal of it.

Pearls of Wisdom

Don’t make the falafel size too large or it will remain uncooked in the center. When you remove the balls from the oil, allow to rest a few minutes before eating to allow the center to completely cook through.

For those of you who would prefer to skip frying the falafel, lightly brown them in a saute pan and finish in the oven at 350 for approximately 20 minutes.

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  1. urban cowgirl

    this is such a great anthropological observation! you are so right, we normalize certain behaviors because they are generalized – but does this make them right?!
    i love this solution to our transient, on-the-go lifestyle; i would love to see more ideas like this!

  2. Anonymous

    Saira, you make it sound so simple. I made the lamb biryani and it came out so good. Falafel is next. Keep them coming.


  3. Anonymous

    Saira, you make it sound so simple. I made the lamb biryani and it came out so good. Falafel is next. Keep them coming.


  4. Anonymous

    Can one use any other bean or lentil to make falafel?

  5. Saira

    Hi Urban cow girl, I can definitely post more healthy snacks, if there is any particular ingredient you would like a recipe for, let me know

  6. Saira

    Falafelss are traditionally made with dried chick peas or dried fava beans or a combination of both

  7. Anonymous

    Ok – who doesn't like fried food… I do but typically not a big fan of falafels. Never appealed to me – I used to find them too dry and nutty. But these were soft, moist and full of amazing flavors. I would eat these as a snack anytime.


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