Nettle Falafels

Eating falafels always reminds me on Mamoun’s Restaurant in New Haven, CT. During my younger years, I would often visit this restaurant after concerts to get some cheap but tasty eats. Mamoun’s were open 24/7/365 and didn’t close their doors until 3 am so they were the ideal place to fulfill the late night munchies! Years have past since I have been there but I still crave the flavors of the Middle East. This recipe is a twist on the classic falafel recipe. Lots of fresh and wild herbs add nutrition and my curry spice blend boosts the flavor. If nettles aren’t in season nor in your neck of the woods, feel free to substitute with spinach or some steamed kale for a similar taste.

Nettle Falafels


  • 1 cup dried chickpeas. soaked for 12 hours in 4 cups of water and a splash of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 medium sized onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 3 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp freshly ground chia seed
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 cup blanched Nettles
  • Atleast 2 cups Coconut Oil or Lard to cook in


1. The first task in making these falafels is to soak the chick peas. This step is best done 1-2 days before wanting to make this recipe. Soak 1 cup of chick peas in 4 cups of water. Allow them to sit in the water for at least 8 hours. I usually do this step before going to bed, so that they are ready in the morning. Drain, then rinse the peas really well.

2. Place the chick peas in a food processor and grind until you reach well broken up. Use a rubber spatula to scrap the sides then grind again. At this point you should be able to press the chick peas between your fingers and they should stay together.

3. Add in the onion, garlic, spices, ground chia, and baking soda and pulse to incorporate. Place the mixture into a bowl and fold in the blanched and chopped nettles. Once the mixture is mixed thoroughly, form into 1 inch balls. Make sure they are packed tight so that don’t crumble in your hands.

4. Next, heat up a large skillet over medium high heat. Add about 1/2 cup or more of lard or coconut oil. Once hot, add the falafels (don’t overcrowd the pan). The oil should be about half way up the falafels, if not, add more fat. Continue to fry until golden brown on each side, roughly 2-3 minutes per side. Once complete place falafels on a paper towel to drain.

5. Serve falafels with tahini sauce or Smoked Paprika Yogurt. Enjoy!