Watercress Falafel in Pitta Pockets

Delicious and easy to make ahead in batches, this Falafel recipe is perfect for a quick weekend lunch or a light midweek dinner.

The fragrant cayenne pepper, cumin and clove add wonderful flavour to this healthy vegetarian dish. You can eat it cold for a lunch on the move or hot for a delicious warming meal.

Serves: 4       Prep time: 10 minutes      Cooking time: 22 minutes

You’ll need:

For the Falafels

  • 225g/8oz dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in water
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 100g bag watercress,  roughly chopped
  • juice half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil, for frying

To finish

  • 100g bag watercress
  • 150g Greek style yogurt
  • 4 wholemeal pitta bread
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed


  1. Drain the chickpeas and place in a food processor with the tahini, salt, baking powder, cumin, coriander, cayenne, garlic, watercress and lemon juice. Whizz until very finely chopped but not puréed. (If you have time, set the mixture aside for a couple of hours, so the flavours can mingle, but it’s not imperative).
  2. Preheat the oven to 220C/Fan 200C/Gas Mark 6. Place a large roasting tin in the oven to heat up. Using a wet hand shape the mixture into 16 balls, then flatten slightly into patties.
  3. Add the oil to the roasting tin, return to the oven for 2 minutes, then carefully add the falafel, tossing to coat in hot oil. Bake for 20 minutes, turning once until crisp and golden.
  4. Whilst they cook, roughly chop half the remaining watercress and stir it into the yogurt with the garlic and seasoning to taste. Lightly toast the pittas on each side, cut each in half and open up each half to make a pocket. Fill the pitta pockets with falafel, remaining watercress and the yogurt sauce. Serve whilst warm.


Recipe courtesy of

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Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor

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