Lima Bean Falafel

Falafel is one of those incredibly simple dishes that I never make from scratch, because the boxed stuff is perfectly tasty and takes about 40 seconds to make.

Of course, when you’re trying to convince a slightly picky Mr. B that he will, in fact, like lima beans if he just tries them, these are probably the way to go. As a bonus, they’re quite tasty and filling. I like that they’re green on the inside, and just a tad spicy.

I know one generally stuffs falafel into pita bread, but that always seemed a bit heavy to me. These are, however, delightful with braised lamb.

Ingredients (serves 4)

2 cups lima beans

1 egg

2 t cumin

1 t cayenne

1 T salt

handful of basil (or your preferred herb)

oil, for deep-frying


Cook the lima beans and pour them into the bowl of a food processor.

Pulse them for a few seconds, then add the basil.

Pulse a few seconds more to incorporate. This would be a good time to move everything to a bowl in order to avoid over-processing the lima beans. I didn’t do that. Add the egg, cumin, cayenne, and salt.

Mix all the ingredients until fully incorporated, preferably with a spoon.

Wet your hands to prevent sticking and form the lima bean concoction into 14-16 balls.

Heat the oil in a deep pot over medium-high heat. Fry the falafel in small batches to avoid overcrowding. They need about 3-4 minutes to cook, until they are a deep, warm brown.

Serve with pita and tzatziki or a lovely serving of braised lamb shank.

These are very solid and hearty. Honestly, I ate four of them and about two bites of lamb, and I was completely stuffed.

If I’d realized how easy it was to make these, I probably would have given up on the boxed ones ages ago. As comfort foods go, falafel probably ranks only just below macaroni and cheese, and they’re virtually guilt-free to boot.

  1. #1 by Zoe on September 26, 2011 - 1:15 AM

    I’ve never tried anything quite like this, but I sure want to try these. I’ll have to add it to my list of stuff I’ve found – the list is getting so big!
    These might have to get moved up a bit, though. Funny, the person before me, Savory Simple, is one of my favorite blogs. Her apricot bars are on my list for tomorrow.
    Do you think any bean would work for this recipe?

    • #2 by koshercorvid on September 26, 2011 - 9:26 AM

      They’d absolutely work with other beans. Chickpeas are traditional, but I also enjoy using black eyed peas.

      And those apricot bars look so good! I was all set to make them and then she made apple spice cookies. I’m torn!

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