Carrot Falafel with Tangy Tahini Sauce
December 8, 2009

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Hi guys!

Thanks for helping Courtney out in my last post. Keep the suggestions coming!

A few days ago, I made the possibly reckless decision to invite you all, via email and comments, to send me your raw-ification challenges. That’s right: I want you all to send me dishes that you’d like to see me put a raw spin on. I’ve already received a few (including my favorite, Hungarian parikash from Earth Mother).

One of the more intriguing requests to arrive in my inbox was for raw falafel–a dish I’ve wanted to make raw for some time now! And since I’m all about sesame seeds and juice pulp lately, I decided that I’d make them my starting point. Some trial and error later, a new Choosing Raw favorite, raw carrot falafel with tangy tahini sauce, was born.

This recipe looks impressive, but it’s really, really easy. Begin with two cups of carrot pulp, add ground sesame seeds, herbs, and spices, and roll into balls. That’s it! I used my dehydrator to un-cook the falafel, but you could certainly bake them instead, or put them in the oven at 175 or so with the door ajar for an hour on each side.

However you choose to make them, you should end up with a tasty, healthy, and delicately flavored version of a much adored street food!

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Raw Carrot Falafel with Creamy Tahini Sauce (yields 16 falafel and 1 1/2 cups sauce)

For the falafel:

2 cups carrot pulp
1 cup sesame seeds, ground in a coffee or spice grinder, a magic bullet, or a food processor
2 tbsp ground flax seed
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced very finely (optional)
1/4 cup onion, minced finely (optional)

Mix all ingredients very well by hand, as if you were making meatloaf (ew). Roll into balls about 1 1/2-2 inches thick, flatten gently, and put on a dehydrator try lined with a Paraflex sheet OR onto a baking sheet.

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Dehydrate the falafel at 115 degrees for two hours. Remove the Paraflex sheet, flip them over, and dehydrate for another two hours. If using an oven, bake them at 175 degrees with the oven door ajar for an hour and repeat on the other side.

For the sauce:

Tangy Tahini Sauce (makes about 3/4 cup)

1/4 cup tahini
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp agave syrup
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1 tbsp nama shoyu
1/2 large or 1 very small clove garlic, minced (optional)

Blend all ingredients in a magic bullet, VitaMix, blender, or food processor until smooth and creamy. The sauce should be super tangy and delicious!

Simply plate a few of these, drizzle them with sauce, and serve. The sweet, nutty, spicy quality of the falafel is balanced by the acidity of the tahini sauce. In all? An awesome raw take on a Middle Eastern classic.

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I hope you guys give this one a shot soon! It’s a winner.

Have a great night, lovelies.

xo

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Categories: Gluten Free, Raw, Main Dishes

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    131 Comments
  1. I see there’s another version you provided to the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/express/wp/2014/07/08/recipe-raw-carrot-falafel-from-choosing-raw/.

    The other one calls for less pulp (1 1/2 cup instead of 2) and 1/3 cup of water + lemon juice (rather than the less than 1/4 cup of liquids you call for here). So, do you stand more behind this version or the one over on the WP?

    I made these today and instead of sesame seeds, I decided to use neutral tasting vegan protein powder (not raw, obviously!), so that I could cut down on fat and get some protein in the meal. It worked! But I had to add a lot of extra water to get it to stick – maybe it’s because my pulp was pretty dry along with the protein powder.

    I’m looking forward to making this recipe a lot now!

  2. I just made these, and they are epic. I switched out apple cider vinegar with raw coconut vinegar, cause I had it on hand. It’s so amazing in an a rainbow chard wrap with shredded carrots, purple cabbage, cucumbers, baby tomatoes, sunflower sprouts, topped with the falafels and doused with the tahini dressing. I have been eating raw for over three years, and this has to be one of the easiest, tastiest recipes I’ve ever made. Will surely make it into my weekly rotation. Thank you!!!!!

  3. Hi there

    Sorry if this sounds thick, but what do you mean by carrot ‘pulp’ is that grated carrot or perhaps the leftover carrot after juicing?

    apologies but I am very new to Raw food, must say I love your site!

    Jill

  4. OMG I am so excited about this recipe. I am absolutely mad about good falafel!!! My partner is allergic to all legumes and 99% of nuts and I have always wanted him to try falafel, but allergens have kept him at bay. I look forward to trying this recipe in the next two weeks and reporting back. I thank you, and all chiefs & cooks, who are able to create alternative recipes for some great foods out there that take some of the most common allergies into mind (whether they meant too or not).

  5. I’ve made this recipe several times over the last few years and I absolutely love it! I had a craving for it this weekend and am going to make it tonight, been too long.

  6. I made this tonight and both the falafel and tahini sauce were very good. I love it when I come across simple yet substantial and yummy raw food recipes. Thank you for this one! 🙂

  7. I made these for my yoga class potluck dinner tonight. They were easy and delish. All my students enjoyed them. Thanks for the recipe.

  8. I just found your blog last week and I love it. I made the tangy tahini dressing just now and it’s fantastic, although too watery. I’m not sure why though. Seems the water amount was too high, but I’ll make more when I run out and fine tune it with the products I’m using.

  9. OMG I just made these and they made my life!!!!!!!! so good, I actually just cooked them at 300 degrees for around 50 minutes, and they were amazing by themselves, no sauce. And so easy!
    Thanks for this beautiful recipe.

    • Hi Connie, I was wondering if you ever got a response about the quantity of tahini that goes into the sauce for the raw carrot falafels? I want to make it tomorrow but don’t want to mess up. Would you mind letting me know if you ever got an answer and what it was? Thanks so much.
      Caryn

  10. Hi Gena! Love the blog and recipes and been meaning for a long time to ask if you use brown or light (hulled or unhealed) tahini in your sauces? I like them both, hulled is a little smoother tasting and brown a bit nuttier and more distinctive so I’m never sure which one has the better flavour for a sauce?

  11. I’m confused. I found your recipe while looking up ways to use my carrot pulp from juicing. I was interested because it’s raw, but then I looked down at the prep and it says to “Dehydrate the falafel at 115 degrees for two hours”. I’m pretty new to the raw food thing, so maybe I’m not understanding but everything I’ve read about “raw” is that it is RAW- meaning no heat used in any way to destroy the vitamins and nutrients in the food. No warming, no baking, no boiling, no frying. So, in this case, since the food is heated, how can it be considered raw? Please help!

  12. Oh man, eating these now and they’re SO delicious!! I also took them out an hour early because I couldn’t wait any longer. They smelled so good and I was so hungry. Great recipe! I would definitely make these again. Thanks for another fantastic recipe!

  13. I just started the raw vegan food challenge so I will be visiting your site quite frequently. I am going to try this tonight. I don’t have a dehydrator so the oven will have to work. Hopefully I can find all the supplies at the local health food store. I may be there for awhile. 🙂 Thanks for always sharing the gems.

  14. I just made these and yummmm!! I took them out of dehydrator early so they have a crisp outside and softer inside. I used parsnip with my carrot to create the pulp and I love the mild flavor it lends. Love the Tahini sauce, too! Can’t wait to find other uses for it. 🙂

  15. Oh. Yum. I’ve been saving my juice pulp because I just don’t feel good about throwing it out. This is a perfect use for carrot juice pulp! YES! And the seasonings sound AMAZING! Perfect recipe to try out with my BRAND NEW dehydrator! YAY!

  16. oh my, these sound amazing :)! is it possible to make these if you don’t have a juicer and therefore no carrot pulp? how much carrot should i sub? thanks for a great recipe!
    have a lovely day!
    xox

  17. I just finished eating these, they are absolutely delicious! Thanks so much for this recipe.

  18. Aloha Gena!

    I just came across your recipe for the Tangy Tahini Sauce and just whipped it up in 2 minutes. I just had to say THANK YOU!!! It is sooooooo yummy !! I am eating on my fresh Thai Spring Rolls and didnt want peanuts. Appreciate it!! Love your blog. Looks gorgeous!

    Hugs- Sara

    • Hi! i have the raw felafel patties in the oven on 175 as directed. I just made the Tangy Tahini Sauce….1 1/4 cups Tahini? am I misunderstanding something? That makes more than 1 1/4 cups sauce and it seems like too much. Connie

  19. These recipes look wonderful. As for the Tahini recipe, I was wondering if you tried both sweeteners: agave AND the stevia packet, and if so, how did they compare? Stevia seems a little tricky to me, sometimes the less processed it is, the more of a bitter aftertaste it has.

  20. hey gena, what do you recommend if you don’t make that much carrot juice? if i do use carrots, i mix it all up with other veggies. so for the falafel, can i just gring up carrots in the food processor?

    • I put the carrots in my Vitamix with some water and then strained it, leaving me pulp and the juice. The juice I just use as a starter for my green juice. Not I’m ready for next batch 😉

  21. Wow, this blows my mind 🙂

    I’m going to have to try them out — and I just did baked falafels today… it will be falafel madness around here!

  22. you should really try a raw meatloaf. i noticed you said (ew) but its really tasty with a homemade raw barbeque sauce (make with dates, yum)

  23. Thanks for posting this. I have been looking for a way to use up my carrot pulp from juicing and this is just perfect! Thanks again. 🙂

  24. Thanks Gena! Truly amazing! Tried these tonight and was totally impressed. I must say nothing will compete with the real deal but I luuuuvvvv these and will be making them often. Great way to use up the carrot pulp. Now if you could give me a really great way to use up my green pulp I would be truly grateful. Also luv the tahini dressing. I have been using a lot of lemon-tahini dressing lately and yours is a nice change…will be making this often as well =D

    When do you find the time to create such wonderful recipes?

  25. I made this today for lunch – YUM! – and ended up crumbling some into a wrap this evening for dinner (with romaine, avo, cayenne, red onion) and drizzling some of the leftover sauce on it too. Double yum! You are a genious 🙂

  26. WHOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA WHOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA WHOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    Oh my goodness.
    I think my heart skipped a beat.

    Those look sooooooooooooooo amazing, Gena!!!!!!!! Probably one of the most delicious and best creations I have seen on your blog to date!! (And boy, not to say there hasn’t been competition….because we already know I am obsessed with everything that comes out of your kitchen!!)

    LOVEEEE THESE BEAUTIES!! Thanks for the recipe, Mama!!!!!!!!!!!

    hugs to you!!!!

  27. ahh i’ve been wanting to make raw falafel for quite some time- i can’t wait to try your recipe.
    guess i need to pick up some tahini and carrots tomorrow 😀
    hope all is well <3

  28. Thanks so much for this! It sounds wonderful. Next month, I’m doing the 28-day Crazy Sexy Life ACT tune-up…so I’ll be raw til dinner for a month! AND, I’m getting an Excaliber dehydrator for Xmas (or least I think I am), so this is soooo going on my ACT list of things to make in January.

  29. Man this looks delish Gena! However, if I don’t have a juicer, how could I make it? Could I use grated carrots instead or just mash them up somehow?

  30. Just made NON-raw falafel and will definitely making these and doing a taste test comparison!! Can not believe you were able to create something that looks so spot-on that’s completely raw. I’ll have to use my oven without having a dehydrator.

  31. WOW, you rock (:

    My bf got me a juicer a few months ago, and I LOVE to juice, but I always feel… guilty about all that pulp going down the drain. I will most definitely save the pulp for this, and also your pulp crackers! Which are gluten-free too.

  32. obviously others have had the same concern as i – subbing finely grated carrots for pulp…hmmm.

    damn you gena! yet another reason i need a juicer. its on my xmas list, but i dont see it happening. wedding registry???

  33. Since I’m a serious falafel-fan, but not crazy about fried foods, I’m all over this recipe. You’ve gotten me inspired and thinking more about raw food, that’s for sure!

  34. Gena, your raw falafel look scrumptious! Thank you for posting the recipe. I love how it is carrot based–a good use of carrot pulp! I’ve always wanted to try falafel; I look forward to testing this recipe!

  35. Falafel is one of my all-time favorite foods, and yours look AMAZING! I have a batch in the dehydrator now. 🙂 I had to use mixed juice pulp because I didn’t have enough carrots on hand & needed to use the pulp I had leftover from my morning juice – and I also added a couple tsp. of cumin because that’s my favorite flavor in traditional falafel. I’ll report back! Thank you!!

  36. Hey guys! A bunch of you are asking if you can use grated carrots. You definitely can, but I’d suggest you grate them VERY finely. The texture won’t be quite the same, but it’ll probably work.

  37. I tried making a raw falafel recipe for my husband once, and it wasn’t going well…ended up being banana cookies, haha (the base was almond meal). This sounds really good, but alas, I am pulp-less.

  38. I am beyond excited to try this!! YUM! I love falafel and have been patiently waiting for this recipe since you posted about it on Twitter! You always come through! 🙂

  39. this is making me really, really sad that i don’t have a juicer. i wonder how it would work with shredded carrot and less liquid to account for the water content? or, perhaps i’ll have to just show up at your apartment begging for pulp. (what an odd statement.)

    regardless, brilliant sounding recipe as always!

  40. Your brilliance strikes again! Falafel is almost an everyday occurrence here, I mean, I do live in Saudi Arabia, I can’t take two steps without bumping into a falafel stand! Always one of my favorite snacks but I never imagined it could be rawified! Thanks!

  41. Wow what a great idea, I love falafels but can’t digest pulses, I am so going to try this thank you!

    I love your blog by the way its great! x x

  42. You and I must have both been channelling felafel today based on my last post too except mine wasn’t raw but was certainly vegan AND delish. Can’t wait to try your version Gena 🙂

  43. These look amazing!!! Once my husband and I are moved out into our own place [living with husband’s bro + wife right now] I want to do a raw week! I’ve always been interested and want to check it out =)

  44. This looks delicious! I’ll have to try it soon. I created a recipe for juice pulp “latkes” recently on Natalia’s site- carrot/kale juice pulp, onions, spice, and egg fried with as little oil as possible. I tried it again last night with ground pine nuts instead of egg, with favorable results, although more falling apart! This looks like a healthier and tastier cousin of the recipe so I am excited to give it a spin!

  45. Beautiful food, Gena!
    I love how the falafel is basically like a bean-less “veggie burger”. Sorry, not meaning to bastardize this is any way. In fact, one of the reasons I never make vegan “veggie burgers” at home is most of them always call for tons of beans. Which just dont really work well for me. Nature’s imperfect food combo as you’ve said. Anyway, I love that the falafel is working off pulp and seeds, no beans. With glorious parsley and cilantro flakes woven in. So pretty.

    And I’ve been making a creamy tahini salad dressing with fewer ingredients than yours and I can’t wait to try the version you’ve posted. Now please tell me you used a squirt bottle to get the drizzle that perfect 🙂

  46. This could be the reason alone that I buy a juicer. I absolutely love falafel, and rarely ever eat it, because it is usually isn’t the healthiest when buying out. I’ve tried to make it myself with very little success, but I know your recipe will be a winner (they always are). Do you think it would still work to just use grated carrots, or would they be too moist? I at least know I will be making the tangy tahini sauce, whether it is for the falafel another delicious raw dish.

    You are awesome (not to mention super brave!) for taking reader’s requests, AND completing them! I just might have to throw in my own request.

  47. Begin with two cups of carrot pulp, add ground sesame seeds, herbs, and spices, and roll into balls. That’s it!

    Best.Recipe.Evah! (shortest too!) 😀

    I swear, the next time I get the ubiquitous question, “But isn’t raw food SO time consuming to prepare?”, I’m rattling off this recipe.

    Hey, how’s my paprikash coming along? *wink*

  48. I had the most amazing falafel last night, so I can’t wait to give this recipe a try. I never would’ve thought to freeze pulp. Now I know you can there’s going to be a lot more juicing happening. I never know what to do with it usually… *trails off into a daydream of carrot juice and falafel-filled weekend*

  49. How did you know I have carrot pulp in the freezer??? You’re just trying to keep me from making it in to carrot cake – I see right through you. 😉 This is an exciting recipe–nice work!

  50. Mmm, sounds yummy! Can I make my raw-ification request here? I have been craving Chicken Tikka Masala for the past couple weeks and would love to know how to make a vegan/raw version of it. Even just a raw-ed Tikka Masala sauce and a rice substitute would make me happy! Thank you so much in advance if you take on the challenge! 🙂

    • This is a great recipe. I’ve made this numerous times and it’s TO DIE FOR! I haven’t figured out how to make a good rice substitute yet, but I’ve heard “zucchini rice” said before. Just not sure how to make it. You could probably just pour it over slices of zucchini or finely chopped cauliflower. I’ve been using regular ol’ rice and it’s amazing. Enjoy!

  51. This recipe looks delicious. I love falafel and tahini and I never seem to use my carrot pulp after juicing. I know exactly what I’ll use it for next time!

  52. What whattttttt? Middle Eastern food in the house!!! Love this! Raw falafel on Choosing Raw woohoo!

    As you know my mom was from Italy but my dad is from JORDAN- we KNOW falafel. You will have to make me your version some day!!!

  53. This sounds like such a fantastic recipe. Perhaps my parents could enjoy this with me; they love Mediterranean dishes.

  54. those look amazing. I have only had cooked falafel once and it wasn’t my thing, but anything involving carrot usually ends up on my a lisT!

  55. I haven’t ever tried falafel before. I know, who am I? But I always have been meaning to try it. Your raw creation looks amazing, nice work!