While Falafel are extremely delicious even on their own (provided they are prepared the right way), adding a light sauce will truly bring them to the next level. And that’s where this delicious Falafel sauce comes into play. Based on a few simple ingredients, this sauce comes together in less than 5 minutes. Let me show you how to make it.
Falafel Sauce vs. Hummus
If you’re familiar with Falafel, you’ve surely heard about Hummus as well. Hummus is a popular Middle Eastern spread that enjoys about the same global popularity as Falafel. Falafel and hummus go great together, whether as a snack or as a sandwich.
While Falafel and Hummus are often served together, there’s one sauce that is meant for Falafel: Tahina sauce. This Falafel sauce is different from Hummus. While the main ingredient to Hummus are chickpeas, traditional Falafel sauce (the way you find it in the Middle East) is based on Tahini. Tahini is a thick sesame paste which is also used in Hummus and many other dishes. It adds to the creaminess and texture of a dish and has a pleasant, nutty flavor.
For Falafel sauce, Tahini is the made ingredient. Combined with water and a few spices, Falafel sauce is lighter and nuttier when compared to Hummus.
In the Middle East, you’ll find both Hummus and Falafel sauce served with Falafel.
Falafel Sauce Ingredients
Let’s have a look at the ingredients of this delicious, nutty sauce.
- Tahini: Tahini is a thick paste made of sesame seeds. It’s available at any Middle Eastern grocery store, but you can also find it at the international aisle of many conventional grocery stores, or online. Be sure to choose a high-quality tahini (made of 100% sesame seeds).
- Water: Regular tap water to thin out the sauce. You can adjust the amount of water to your liking. More on this below.
- Lemon: Fresh lemons, squeezed into juice.
- Ground cumin: A signature spice of Middle Eastern cuisine. Be sure to purchase ground cumin (cumin powder), not cumin seeds, for this recipe.
- Coriander powder: Another signature spice of Middle Eastern cuisine. We need ground coriander (coriander powder), not the seeds.
- Salt: Salt to taste.
- Parsley (optional): Parsley is totally optional. If using, go for flat-leaf parsley (also known as Italian parsley). It adds some color and flavor to your sauce, but you can totally omit it.
Note: Quantities can be found in the recipe card at the end of this recipe and can be adjusted according to the amount of servings you’d like to make.
How to Make Falafel Sauce (Step-by-Step)
Ready to make Falafel sauce? Yallah, let’s get started!
Step 1: Squeeze the lemon
Fresh lemon yields a better result when compared to bottled lemon juice. Roll your lemon against a hard surface to loosen the tough membranes. Then, cut the lemon into halves. Squeeze with a lemon juicer or by hand. Discard the seeds and flesh. Add the lemon juice to a mixing bowl.
Step 2: Add tahini
Shake the Tahini well before every use. Then pour the tahini into the mixing bowl. Stir well. Note that tahini usually gets a bit thicker and clumpy when you start to whisk it. Don’t worry about that, that’s perfectly normal. Just keep whisking for 1-2 minutes until you get a smooth consistency.
Step 3: Add water and spices
Add cold water and the spices (ground coriander, ground cumin and salt) and stir well. Have a quick taste and adjust the salt to your liking, if needed. Depending on the quality and brand of your tahini (and your preference for the sauce), you might have to add a bit more water. A ratio of 1:1 works fine for me, as we’re aiming for a runny but slightly creamy consistency (not too thick, but not too watery).
Step 4: Add parsley (optional)
If you make this Falafel sauce to serve with Falafel, you’ll surely have some leftover parsley. And this sauce is a good way to use some of it. A handful is enough to add some color and flavor to your sauce. Cut off the long stems, and then finely chop the leaves. Add the chopped parsley to your Falafel sauce and stir.
How to Serve
Falafel sauce can be served right after making it. You can also put it in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.
In addition to Falafel, this sauce is traditionally served alongside many grilled dishes too, from grilled meat to grilled or roasted vegetables (e.g. roasted cauliflower). It also goes well with many salads (though it’s not traditionally used as a salad dressing).
Make Ahead & Storage
Falafel sauce can perfectly be prepared ahead of time. Store in an airtight container in the fridge and consume within 4-5 days.
Learn Middle Eastern Cooking
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- 100 g Tahini sesame paste
- 100 ml water
- ¾ lemon (¾ lemon = 3 Tbsp)
- ¼ tsp cumin powder
- ¼ tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 3-4 stems flat-leaf parsley optional
- Squeeze a lemon, discard the seeds and flesh. Put the lemon juice in a mixing bowl.
- Add tahini to the mixing bowl and whisk for about 1-2 minutes until smooth.
- Add water and spices (ground cumin, ground coriander, salt) and whisk again.
- Cut off the long stems of the parsley, then finally chop the leaves and add to the sauce. Stir well. Serve immediately or cool before serving.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge and consume within 4-5 days.
- Tahini usually gets a bit thicker and clumpy when you start to whisk it. That’s perfectly normal. Just keep whisking for 1-2 minutes until you get a smooth consistency.
- This sauce goes well with falafel, grilled meat, grilled/roasted vegetables and even some salads.
Nutrition information is only a rough estimate and may vary depending on factors such as the cooking method, exact weight, type, and brand of ingredients used.