Falafels with cashew turmeric dressing

This turmeric and falafel salad is a great way to include more turmeric into your food! I have been doing a lot of recipe development with fresh turmeric so I’ll be posting lots of recipes that include it. I’m going to share with you some easy and fun ways to include turmeric or experiment with it!

  • Add freshly grated turmeric into a curry, a stir fry or soup.
  • Add it into dips when you blend all the ingredients together
  • Add it to sauces
  • Add to your dry ingredients when baking chocolate brownies, banana or zucchini bread, cupcakes and more

I’ve also read in many places that to absorb the benefits of Turmeric we need to add a natural fat and black pepper. That way the turmeric combines much more easily and we absorb it.

Here I’ve created a simple cashew dressing with grated raw turmeric. These falafels work perfectly with it! Adapted from Ottolenghi’s traditional falafel recipe these falafels are incredible. You can fry these or bake these but just note that if you want to bake them you should add double the amount of water to the mixture otherwise they do come out quite dry. I hope you love this as much as I do!

Falafel salad with cashew turmeric dressing

Serves 4

Homemade Falafels

(Makes 20 falafels)

250 g chickpeas

½ onion

1 clove of garlic

1 tbsp parsley (finely chopped)

2 tbsp fresh coriander (finely chopped)

¼ tsp cayenne pepper (remove if you don’t like chili)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp ground cardamom

½ tsp baking powder

1 ½ tbsp plain flour

3 tbsp water

½ tsp salt

½ cup sesame seeds (for coating)

olive oil (for frying)

Cashew Turmeric Dressing

1 cup raw cashews

1 knob of raw turmeric

½ tsp ground turmeric

2 tbsp olive oil

½ cup boiling water

salt and pepper

½ bunch of English spinach

½ bunch of lettuce

½ red onion (thinly sliced)


  1. For the dressing soak the cashews in water for at least 4 hours.
  2. To make the falafels soak raw dry chickpeas over night or for 8 hours in a bowl of water. They will double in size.
  3. Drain the chickpeas and place them into a food processor. Add all of the ingredients for the falafel in the above list excluding the plain flour, baking powder and sesame seeds.
  4. Blend for 4-5 minutes until it has a finely chopped texture (don’t make it paste like, it still needs to maintain some grip).
  5. Remove the mixture from the processor and place into a bowl. Add the baking powder, flour, salt and water and mix well with your hands. Cover the mixture and place into the fridge for 1 hour.
  6. Meanwhile prepare the cashew dressing by straining the cashews and placing into a processor. Finely grate the raw turmeric into the processor, add the dry turmeric, olive oil, salt and pepper. Once you start blending pour in the boiling water. This will create a smoother mixture. Set aside until serving.

To make the falafels:

Use wet hands and a tablespoon to press the mixture into your hands. Try aim for enough mixture that will be the size of an apricot. Press the mixture really well with your hands and place onto the sesame seeds, flipping over to cover both sides and smoothing out the edges. Repeat.

For frying:

  1. Once the falafel mixture has come out of the fridge heat a saucepan with olive oil. You only need the oil to come 6 cm up the sides of the pan. Heat on a medium heat. Don’t let it smoke.
  2. Fry for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and place onto some paper towel to drain off excess oil.

For baking:

  1. Place all falafels on a lined baking tray a few cm apart.
  2. Bake in an oven for 20-30 minutes under 180 degrees.

Serve in a bowl or salad board arrange the salad leaves, spinach leaves, onion, falafel and serve with the turmeric dressing.

Recipe created for Harris Farm Markets.

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