Falafels with home-made hot sauce

This is a mixed post – part ready mix and part home made. Today we went all Mid-Eastern and had pitta pockets full of falafels, coleslaw, tomatoes, pickled cabbage, humous, tahini and home made hot sauce. I’m sorry for the rather blurred quality of the pictures …I really need to take more time with the photography but was busy eating.



I’ve had this box in the cupboard for a few months. It was the easiest thing in the world to make – so yep, you guessed it, I got the little one to do some of the work. A bit of mathematics as she mixed the right quantity of water into the mix. A scientific lesson in the different states of objects as the dry mix went from almost solid (too little water) to being a runny mess (too much water). Next time, I’ll get her to put in slightly less water. A torturous lesson in patience as we waited for 2-3 minutes as per box instructions followed by a lesson in H&S when I burnt myself during the frying stage as she distracted me by dropping tic-tacs on the floor. At this stage, tot was banned from the kitchen until all frying was done. The falafels were lovely and crispy on the outside but I think that the outer cooked too quickly as the inner was not really cooked through – so next time I’ll turn down the oil a bit. In reality I would have preferred to bake them in the oven but not sure the mix would work out right.

Hot sauce:

Have you ever had Belazu rose harissa – it is a simply delicious mix of 40 spices which includes rose petals and is undoubtedly manna from the God of chillies. Unfortunately, the supermarket didn’t have any so I decided to make my own. Googling left me all goggly (it’s a real word!) as there is a multitude of recipes for harissa. The basic ingredients seem to be dried red chillies, garlic, caraway and cumin seeds, cumin and coriander powders, olive oil and lemon juice. I used far less of the former and substituted rose essence for the latter. Though my result wasn’t bad, I shan’t be putting Belazu out of business quite yet methinks…hubby disagreed as he gobbled up loads of the sauce with the falafels.



  • 2 red chillies (sorry no idea what type. Came as part of a mixed bag of chillies) – de-seeded, vein cut out and chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic – peeled and chopped roughly
  • 1/2 red pepper grilled until skin charred. Removed skin and chopped flesh
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds lightly pan roasted
  • 1 tsp cumin / coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4-5 drops rose essence
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs tomato puree
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh coriander
  • Hearty squeeze lemon juice

Put all the ingredients in a blender and whizzed away adding ingredients in bits until I got to a happy place. Store in a sterilised bottle with a layer of olive oil on top. When you use some, make sure the remainder is covered with oil to preserve it for longer.


2 thoughts on “Falafels with home-made hot sauce

    • Falafels have a lot of great memories from my youf – as a family it was a treat to go down to a place in Hampstead to get the falafels. Stories are still told of how my mother demanded hot sauce that ended up being so hot she begged my uncle for his coke. OK not so funny when written down but the falafels were delicious. ~The tagine in that post looks delicious. Will have to try that on a pizza night when hubby tucks into his peperoni and I look for something a bit more vegetarian.

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