Black Bean Falafel or Dip and Cucumber Sauce

Total Time
1hr 20mins
Prep 50 mins
Cook 30 mins

This recipe was developed one night in haste from a more traditional, chickpea-based recipe in an effort to recreate an appetizer from an Ethiopian restaurant. Its dual use as a bean dip was discovered quite accidentally but to very delicious results. These falafel are excellent when served in pita bread with the sauce as well as with some tomato and hummus.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Drain the black beans.
  2. If you have a food processor, pulverize them until a paste; if not, mash them with a fork, your hand, or potato masher.
  3. Chop onion, green onion, garlic, and cilantro; add to the beans and again process until paste like if you have the equipment, or just mix in thoroughly (your hands work quite well for this).
  4. Add coriander, cumin, black pepper, baking powder, salt, and red pepper flakes and mix well.
  5. At this point, the mixture is a yummy bean dip; you may choose to reserve all or part of it (about a third) solely for this purpose.
  6. To continue with the falafel, if the mixture is noticeabley runny add enough flour to make it hold together (no more than 1/3 cup).
  7. Lightly beat the egg, add it to the bean mixture, and mix well.
  8. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  9. While the falafel mixture refrigerates, chop the remaining 1/4 onion, garlic clove, and cucumber into small bits; add these to the yogurt with the dill and black pepper and mix thoroughly; refrigerate in a covered container until needed.
  10. Coat a large (nonstick) frying pan with enough oil to keep the falafel from sticking (you will need to replenish this periodically between batches).
  11. Spoon the falafel mixture into the pan and flatten to make patty-shaped (3"-4" in diameter and 1/2"-3/4" thick).
  12. Cook over medium-high heat on each side for 5-10 minutes, or until brown and crispy.
  13. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to cool; serve warm.


Most Helpful

I chose to make this as a dip, so I stopped after instruction #5 & also left out the baking powder. Unless you REALLY like black pepper, 2 teaspoons is WAY too much!!! I can't imagine how bad it would've been if I'd used any red pepper flakes!

geobear October 20, 2014

I made a 3rd of a batch for my husband and I (I beat the egg and used 1/2, the rest went to the dog). Everything came together easily however this is not a pretty dish by any means - the beans and the cilantro make a ugly combination when blended into a paste. I tried cooking them in oil over medium high heat however the outside of each patty cooked , quite dark, before the inside was firm. I ended up finishing them in the oven. They taste pretty good overall and are an interesting change from the usual falafel. I may try playing with the cooking times and methods. Overall this recipe is a good idea, just requires a little tweaking.

Mgnbos January 31, 2009

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