Red Lentil Falafel with Tahini Sauce

Learn how to make this Red Lentil Falafel with Tahini Sauce recipe with the voice-activated cookbook iPhone app, Myka.

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Cook In:

4 minutes 

Prep In:

40 minutes




Red Lentil Falafel with Tahini Sauce

By: Sous Chef Myka

Falafel is a Middle Eastern staple that’s hearty, flavorful and best-served piping hot. This Red Lentil Falafel with Tahini Sauce forgoes the traditional chickpeas for red lentils, and includes the diverse flavors of jalapeños, parsley, cumin and tahini.

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  • 1 cup red lentils

  • ¼ cup water

  • 1 small bunch parsley

  • 8 cloves garlic

  • 1 jalapeno

  • ½ large white onion

  • 1 & ¾ tsp kosher salt

  • ½ tsp black pepper

  • 1 & ¼ tsp ground cumin

  • ¼ tsp baking powder

  • ¼ cup lemon juice

  • ½ cup tahini

  • ¼ tsp baking soda

  • Vegetable oil

  • Sumac


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Hi Chefs, Myka here 👋

Falafel is typically chickpea-based, but you can put those lentils sitting in your cabinet to good use with this Red Lentil Falafel with Tahini Sauce recipe. For this Middle Eastern delicacy, you’ll start by soaking some lentils, and adding some of your ingredients to a food processor, like parsley, garlic, and jalapeños. 

After soaking, you’ll add your lentils to the food processor as well, and will slowly add in water, until your desired consistency is reached. After the falafel mixture is complete, you’ll prepare your tahini sauce, with raw tahini, garlic, lemon salt and water.

Finally, it’s time to fry your falafel. Once they’re golden and begin to float, you’ll serve and enjoy immediately. 

Happy cooking!

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Rinse 1 cup of red lentils and place in a large bowl. Cover with water and let soak for 20 minutes.

Step 2

Clean, dry and add 1 small bunch of parsley to a food processor.

Step 3

To the food processor, add 3 garlic cloves, 1 jalapeño and 1/2 of a large white onion, cut into quarters.

Step 4

To the food processor, add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt, ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin and ¼ teaspoon of baking powder.

Step 5

Drain and thoroughly dry the red lentils and add to the food processor. Pulse until the red lentils are very finely minced, occasionally scraping down the sides as necessary.

Note: Test the texture between your fingers to see if the mixture sets well when formed into a ball. If you find the texture to be too soft and unable to set, you can add 1 tsp of fine wheat or breadcrumbs to help bind the mixture.

Step 6

Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to set up.

Step 7

Clean out the bowl of the food processor and add 5 garlic cloves, ¼ cup of lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon of ground cumin. Blend until smooth.

Step 8

To the food processor, add ½ cup of tahini and pulse until emulsified and very stiff.

Step 9

To the food processor, add approximately ¼ cup of water, a few tablespoons at a time while pulsing until your desired consistency is reached.

Step 10

Once the desired consistency is reached, transfer to a bowl and set in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Step 11

Remove the red lentil mixture from the refrigerator. Add in ¼ tsp of baking soda and mix well to combine. 

Step 12

Using a falafel scoop, begin forming the mixture into balls. If you do not own a falafel scoop, another alternative is to scoop out heaping spoonfuls of the mixture, then gently form them into balls. Place them on a plate as you go.

Step 13

Fill a deep cast iron skillet or dutch oven with 2” of vegetable oil. Heat over high heat until the oil registers 375℉.

Step 14

When your oil is up to temperature, carefully lower the balls into the oil, one at a time. Allow a little space between the balls and cook in batches if necessary, approximately 3-4 minutes.

Note: Maintain an oil temperature of 350 to 375℉ while cooking.

Step 15

When the falafel is a deep golden brown, and begins to float to the top of the oil, remove to a paper towel lined plate and immediately season with sumac.

Step 16

Serve immediately with the tahini and your choice of accompaniments.

 Myka, also known as “My Kitchen Assistant,” is a voice-enabled recipe builder which allows you to effortlessly follow and create recipes. You can read more about Myka’s story by clicking here. 

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