Lemon & Walnut Falafels w Sambal Yoghurt by Chef Mike Ward

Mike Ward hails from Canada, via his birthplace of Australia. A much-loved feature on Canadian television, he has cooked for Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, and writes and presents features on food and cooking with a down-to-earth attitude and good humour.

We have a feeling that we’ll be seeing more of him on this side of the Atlantic, so we thought we’d share one of our favourite recipes of his today.  No matter what your fitness and nutrition regimen is, as the evenings get cooler, we all need a hearty, comforting dish like this one in our repertoire, right?

Tweet Melanie at @MSMELANIESYKES and let us know how you do!


Who doesn’t love these delicious little flavour balls.  I’ve switched up a few of the classic ingredients along with baking them…. Brighter over your taste buds, lighter in your tummy. Win, Win!


  • 1 tin chickpeas 540ml, rinsed and very well drained
  • ¼ white onion (red onion is fine too)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 50 grams feta, finely crumbled
  • ½ cup walnuts, finely chopped

Garnish ingredients

  • ½ cup Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp sambal (or your fav chili sauce)
  • 2 radishes, thinly sliced
  • Coriander

Preheat oven to 400F. In a food processor pulse the chickpeas, onion, garlic, lemon zest, cumin, a good pinch of salt and pepper until you have a crumbly dough texture, not a paste. You may need to stop and use a spatula to ensure even processing. Add flour 1 Tbsp at a time and continue to pulse until mixture is no longer wet and you can mold it into a ball without sticking to your palms.

Remove mixture into a mixing bowl, with your hands combine in feta cheese and walnuts. Roll mixture into 1-inch diameter balls and place in fridge for an hour to firm up – you can skip this step but they’ll be a little more fragile.

In a heavy bottom fry pan on medium heat add ¼ to ½ inch of vegetable or canola oil, fry balls evenly until deep brown (put 1 in to begin to test oil temp_). Place onto a parchment lined baking tray and finish in the oven for 8 to 10 mins.

Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl combine yoghurt and sambal, spread over a platter, place cooked falafels on top and garnish with radish and coriander. I also used a little fresh chili, and feel free to serve with lemon wedges.

Recipe from chef Mike Ward.