Baked Saffron Falafel

Saffron’s taste is reminiscent of metallic honey with grassy or hay-like notes, and while the taste carries the hay-like textures it is also quite sweet at times too. Popular within Persian, Indian, European, Arab, and Turkish cuisines, saffron is a popular ingredient in confectionary.

As sweeter ingredients like pomegranate and carrot pair so well with the base falafel ingredients, the sweet hints of saffron shine through in this dish. Making it the perfect counterpart to a red cabbage and tahini slaw.


Makes: 4–6

1/2 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds
2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed, drained
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads


Preheat oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Pulse sunflower seeds in a food processor for about 30 seconds. Add chickpeas and pulse 1 minute longer. Add onion and remaining ingredients and pulse, occasionally scraping down sides of work bowl, until mixture is slightly coarse and well combined.

Using your hands, form 24 small round falafels and place on prepared sheet.

Bake, turning every 5 minutes, until falafels are evenly brown, about 15 minutes.

Recipe: David, Luise Vindahl | Photograph: Johanna Frenke