Fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa: Sweet Potato and Cashew Nut Falafels

I love food.  I love music.  I also love food that reminds me of music.  And I really love food that reminds me of very silly lines in music.  Which means that I really love falafel because it make me want to sing Talking Head’s Pscychokiller, the delights of which can be observed here.  If you don’t want to click on the link that’s fine, but it does include the line ‘Fa fa fa fa fa, fa fa fa fa fa’, which will now get stuck in your head every time you eat falafel.  You’re welcome.

So anyway, weird soujourn into 1970’s New Wave over, lets get to the recipe.  Andy bought humous in an ill advised late night Tesco trip.  We are quite middle class.  And of course you must have falafel (fa fa fa fa fa…) if you are going to have humous.  But me being me, I wanted crazy ‘different’ falafel.  So I made these.

There was some discussion among my friends as to whether these are actually falafel, because they don’t contain actual chickpeas.  My friend Lorna says they’re not.  I say they are.  We’re not going to have a falling out of this and falafel is already pretty fraught given that both Israel and Palestine claims its origins.  So yeah.  No falafel wars here, please.



  • One big sweet potato
  • 1/2 a cup of chickpea flour
  • about 80g cashews, chopped up finely
  • about two slices of bread’s worth of bread crumbs (use a cheese grater or food processor)
  • 2tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • tsp cumin
  • tsp chilli
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • oil



  1. Wrap your sweet potato in foil and bake in the foil in the oven for about 45 minutes.  It should be soft inside when its finished.
  2. When the sweet potato is cooked, take it out the oven and leave to cool for about 10 minutes.
  3. Carefully unwrap the sweet potato, slice through it and scoop out the flesh into a mixing bowl.
  4. Add the chickpea flour, cashews, coriander, chilli, cumin and salt to the bowl.  Stir it all together so that it makes a sort of dough.
  5. Refrigerate the mixture for half an hour.
  6. After this time, check the consistency of the dough.  You want to be able to mould it into little falafel shaped balls, so if it’s too sticky add a little more flour.
  7. Once you’ve got the consistency right, start making your little balls.  You should be able to get about 18 balls out the mixture.
  8. Preheat the oven to about 180’C.
  9. Once the falafels are made, line a baking tray with foil and oil it generously with the oil.
  10. Roll each of the falafels in the bread crumbs and then space them evenly on the tray. When all the falafels are on the tray, drizzle again with oil.
  11. Bake at 180’C for about 30 mins.  They should be golden and hot through.
  12. Use them as you would falafel in your favourite recipe.

Serving suggestion:

Warm through a couple of pittas, fill with humous, shredded lettuce, finely chopped fresh tomatoes, falafel, tahini and a drizzle of sweet chilli sauce.


falafel in pita.jpg

You can also make it a bit of a thing, by laying out your condiments all fancy pants:




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