Carrot and Cumin Falafel

Carrot & Cumin Falafel⎜The Botanical Kitchen

My first attempts at writing a piece to accompany this recipe were by hand; not because of any sense of nostalgia for pen and paper but simply as a means to finally overcome all the tip toeing around launching this venture of mine. I've been telling family and friends it's coming for weeks only to trundle off and write a new to do list rather than make the leap. But no more. This is my home for the new year and I'm going to try and put my heart and soul into this little corner of the web because I can't escape the pull that food has over me. Real food. Local food. It's a love language, cooking seasonally and communally and I hope I can pay homage to all that entails. I could endlessly write of my thrill at beautiful produce and farmers markets and cookbooks and crockery. Indeed the crusade I find myself on to celebrate natural and local foods could start me off indefinately but we have plenty of time to become acquainted so for now and to the recipe.

I first fell for falafels during a week in Paris of all places. Unbeknown to me at the time, the neighbourhood in which I was staying; the Marais is quite famous for them. Most there are served wrapped up in pita bread with spicy chilli sauce and pickles. My version in contrast is fresh and aromatic with the combination of carrot and cumin. They're also baked and served in more of an unpacked way. Falafel are a lovely versatile dish, you can mix and match how you assemble them and with what they're served and best of all they make delicious leftovers.

Carrot & Cumin Falafel⎜The Botanical Kitchen

Carrot and Cumin Falafel / Serves 4-6 and makes 15 falafel.

2 cups/ 4,8dl garbanzo beans/ chickpeas, canned or soaked overnight and cooked

2 carrots, grated

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp cinnamon

3 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

2 tbsp sesame seeds

1tbsp flour (I use buckwheat)

1 tsp baking powder

Handful of parsley

Rinse the garbanzo beans and add those along with all of the ingredients to a food processor. Blend for a minute until the mixture comes together. Try to keep the texture a little rough. Make 15 round falafels, place on a baking tray covered with parchment paper and bake at 200°C for 30 minutes, turn every 10 minutes to get an even brown colour.


Cashew Butter

2 handfuls of dry roasted cashew

2 tbsp lemon juice

Pinch of salt

Process the cashews in a high speed blender for a minute until they come together in a paste. Add the lemon juice and salt and stir until combined.


Mint and Lime Yoghurt

1 cup/ 2,4dl of whole natural yoghurt

Handful of mint leaves, chopped

1 lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.


To serve

Bunch of kale leaves, rubbed with olive oil, salt and pepper

Grated beetroot

Pomegranate arils

Carrot & Cumin Falafel⎜The Botanical Kitchen

Seasonal guide / temperate climates

Carrots, year round; Pomegranate, late summer through winter; Kale, late summer through winter; Beetroot, year round


Produce companion

Carrots; remove the greens as soon as possible to prevent them drawing out moisture and wash your carrots only when ready to use. Store in a closed container in the refrigerator and be sure to keep as dry as possible.


complementary additions

Tomatoes, Avocado, Tahini, Lemon, Fresh herbs