Secret Recipe: Cactus Club Cafe’s Crispy Chickpea Falafel

Have a ball with these chickpea treats this summer.

This summer, let’s get ballin’—with crispy chickpea falafel, that is. Straight from Cactus Club Cafe’s iconic Mediterranean bowls, these spiced Middle Eastern morsels are your ticket to snacking glory, perfect solo or as the star of any dish. Chef Gregory McCallum’s pro tip? Pair them with chicken or lamb kebabs and a side of tangy garlic yogurt, or tuck them into a homemade donair. We suggest taking them to-go (beachside, patio or picnic table), but that’s just how we roll.

Crispy Chickpea Falafel Recipe

Serves 4 to 6


  • 20 g parsley, picked
  • 10 g mint, picked
  • 20 g dill, with stems if desired
  • 20 g cilantro, with stems if desired
  • 85 g tahini
  • 20 g lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 40 g good olive oil
  • 250 g dry chickpeas
  • 170 g shallot, diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • Canola oil, for cooking


  1. Soak dry chickpeas in plenty of water overnight in the fridge. Rinse and drain the next day.
  2. Place all ingredients except the oil in a food processor and blend until they form a coarse, crumbly green dough. Scrape the dough down the sides with a spatula as you go so that everything is evenly incorporated. Using clean hands or a scoop, form the dough into bite-sized falafel balls.
  3. In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat about 2 inches of canola oil to 350°F. (Be careful as the oil will be very hot!)
  4. In batches, gently place your falafel balls in the oil and allow to cook until a nice dark-brown crust forms. You may need to give them a flip as they float.
  5. Transfer falafels to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool slightly before serving

Hot Tip: Skip the canned chickpeas for this one—when you soak dry chickpeas overnight, they’ll double in size.