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Vegan Beetroot Falafel in Homemade Pitta Bread with Crisp Salad Leaves and Tahini Dressing

Vegan Beetroot Falafel In Pitta Pockets with Tahini Dressing - Vegan

Spicy vegan beetroot falafel tucked inside pillowy homemade pitta breads with crisp salad leaves and a tangy tahini dressing!
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Author Chris Mosler @thinlyspread


For the Falafel

  • 1 small cooked beetroot (about 60g), chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp chipotle chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • a little plain flour

For the Pitta Breads

  • 225 g strong white bread flour
  • 1 tsp (7g sachet) instant yeast
  • 150 ml water
  • 1 tsp olive oil

For the Tahini Dressing

  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp dairy free coconut yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-4 tbsp hazelnut milk (use any non dairy organic milk)

To Serve

  • shredded salad leaves


To Make the Beetroot Falafel

  • I roasted a batch of beetroot because I think this is the best way to retain flavour and colour. Put the whole beetroot onto a baking tray and cover with foil, bake in an oven at 150C for about 2 hours until soft (poke with a fork), leave to cool and remove the skin, chop roughly. You can use bought vacuum packed cooked beetroot if you wish. 
  • Preheat your oven to 180C.
  • Fry the onion gently in the oil until soft.
  • Add the garlic, cumin seeds and chipotle flakes and fry for a further minute until aromatic.
  • Place the cooked beetroot, onion mixture, tahini, drained chickpeas and lemon juice into a blender and pulse until you have a firm paste, add water if needed. You can mash it all with a potato masher or a fork if you don't have a blender. 
  • Turn the falafel mixture out into a bowl. Take a spoonful of the mixture and roll it into a ball (if your mixture is too sticky stir in a little flour but don't be heavy handed - you want moist falafel to eat!), squash it a bit to form a patty and place on a greased baking tray.
  • Repeat with the remaining mixture until you have 16 falafel.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, turning with a spatula once - they should be firm on top and just beginning to brown. 

To Make the Pitta Bread

  • Place the flour, yeast and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  • Make a well in the flour and add the water and oil.
  • Turn on your mixer and allow it to do its thing for about 5 minutes until the dough is elastic and smooth. (You can knead by hand if you want to - so soothing!)
  • Leave in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size.
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured board and cut into 8 pieces. 
  • Roll each piece out until pitta sized (see the video!)
  • Heat a dry, non stick frying pan until very hot.
  • Add your first pitta to the pan and cook until it bubbles up (about 2 minutes if your pan is up to temperature), flip and cook the other side for about a minute until it puffs up and browns slightly (see the video!)
  • Keep your pitta in a warm oven while you cook the rest. 

For the Tahini Dressing

  • Whisk together the tahini, dairy free yogurt, ground cumin and lemon juice - add enough hazelnut milk to make a pouring cream like consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Putting Them Together!

  • Cut open your pitta pockets and stuff with shredded organic lettuce, add two falafel (you can cut them in half to make them go further), drizzle with tahini dressing, add more lettuce and serve with the remaining dressing in a bowl for people to help themselves.