Falafel and Tzatziki Yogurt Sauce

 In Recipes

March is Nutrition Month and we’re offering recipes from our Food Skills and Education programming. This Falafel recipe is a crowd pleaser! It is nutritious, versatile, and most importantly fun to make and enjoy together!

Falafel is very popular in the Middle East as a fast food. Vendors sell it on the street corners in Cairo, Egypt. As a main dish, it is served as a sandwich, stuffed in pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes, and tahini (sesame sauce). As an appetizer, it is served atop a salad, or with hummus and tahini. Falafel is a favorite among vegetarians.

Make the Tzatziki Greek Yogurt Sauce first:

  • 4 cups low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 cucumber, grated
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped (If you can’t find fresh dill use 1 tablespoon dry dill!)
  • 2 garlic clove, chopped


  1. Grate the cucumber
  2. Chop garlic and dill.
  3. Measure and mix together yogurt and sour cream.
  4. Add in cucumber, garlic, dill, salt, lemon juice and stir it up!

Falafel Ingredients

  • 1 pound (about 2 cups)dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans (or a 16 oz canned chickpeas)Falafel2
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3-5 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Whole wheat flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of ground cardamom
  • Vegetable oil for baking (canola oil works well)

Falafel Instructions

  1. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans well. Put them in the food processor with chopped onion, garlic cloves, parsley, flour, salt, cumin, ground coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and cardamom.
  1. Pulse all ingredients together until rough, coarse meal forms. Scrape the sides of the processor periodically and push the mixture down the sides. Process till the mixture is somewhere between the texture of couscous and a paste. You want the mixture to hold together, and a more paste-like consistency will help with that.
  1. Meanwhile, form falafel mixture into patties using wet hands. Use about 2 tablespoons of mixture per falafel. You can make them smaller or larger depending on your personal preference.
  1. Put a small amount of oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot add falafel balls and fry until golden brown on each side and hot throughout. Fry in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan.
  1. Once the falafels are fried, remove them from the pan and place on paper towel-lined plate.
  1. Serve the falafels fresh and hot; they go best with a plate of hummus and topped with creamy tahini sauce. You can also stuff them into a pita.