Harissa falafel wrap recipe: ditch your daily sandwich for this vegetarian dream

Ever made falafel at home? Now is your chance with this harissa falafel wrap recipe, here to make lunchtimes during lockdown more exciting and tasty. 

As Stylist’s food editor, I used to see office-based lunches as a challenge – an opportunity to stretch out leftovers, thinking creatively about what was in the fridge that I could mix and match to knock up something tasty (knowing I could always pop out to grab freshly made sushi, noodles, or a Pret mac ’n’ cheese if needed). But now I’m preparing my own lunch seven days I week, I’m running out of inspiration fast. So this harissa falafel wrap is one I’ll be trying this week. Double up on quantities and you can freeze some falafel for another day, and add whatever salad bits and pickles you have in the fridge for extra crunch.


30 minutes, plus chilling time


10 minutes


For the wraps:

4 soft tortilla wraps

2 baby gem lettuces, washed and chopped

1 avocado, halved, stoned, peeled and sliced

For the quick-pickled cabbage:

125ml apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp caster sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp yellow mustard seeds

½ tsp black peppercorns

1 shallot, thinly sliced

200g red cabbage, thickly sliced

For the falafel:

50g quinoa (dry weight)

240g tinned chickpeas, drained

1 tbsp harissa paste

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

½ tsp ground coriander

½ tsp ground cumin

1½ tbsp plain flour plus extra for coating

½ tsp baking powder

1 small onion, roughly chopped

A handful of flat-leaf parsley, stems removed

A handful of coriander, stems removed

5 tbsp vegetable oil for frying

Salt and black pepper, to season

For the tahini dressing:

2 tbsps tahini

2 tsps lemon juice

½ tsp white wine vinegar


Step 1: To make the pickling liquor for the cabbage, combine the apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seeds and peppercorns in a small saucepan with 125ml water and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat as soon as it boils. Put the shallot and cabbage into a clean, heatproof jar, then pour the hot pickling liquor over it and press the cabbage down to ensure it’s all submerged. Leave it to cool, then seal with a lid and refrigerate it for at least a few hours, ideally overnight. The pickled cabbage will keep for up to 10 days, covered, in the fridge.

Step 2: To make the falafel, cook the quinoa in a large pan of boiling water for 10 minutes or until the quinoa is tender. Drain and allow it to cool.

Step 3: Put the chickpeas, harissa paste, garlic, spices, flour, baking powder, onion and herbs in a food processor and blitz until smooth, adding a tablespoon of warm water if it is dry and crumbly. Keep adding warm water, a tablespoon at a time, blitzing between additions, until you have a paste that will hold together (you may need up to 6 tablespoons).

Step 4: Transfer the mixture to a bowl, then stir in the quinoa, season to taste with salt and black pepper, and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Step 5: To make the tahini dressing, combine all the ingredients with 3 tablespoons of warm water in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Season to taste.

Step 6: Using clean hands, take egg-sized lumps of the falafel mixture into your hands and shape them into patties (the mixture should make around 12). Press them together, then roll them gently in flour – they will be fragile, so handle with care.

Step 7: Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-based non-stick frying pan over a medium high heat, then fry the falafel in batches, carefully flipping them over halfway through cooking, until they are golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil.

Step 8: To assemble the wraps, spread a generous spoonful of the tahini dressing on each wrap, then divide the lettuce, avocado and falafel between them. Add some pickled cabbage to each, then drizzle over a little extra tahini dressing. Wrap them up tightly and serve immediately.

The Vegetarian Kitchen by Prue Leith and Peta Leith (£25, Bluebird) is out now 

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