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Chickpea Falafels with Rainbow Slaw

We chose Essential as they are a pioneering worker’s cooperative, whose values and ethos resonate with us here at Riverford - we are an employee-owned business, run by its co-owners. Essential share our focus on provenance and sustainability; the quality and flavour of the ingredients they supply pairs so well with our organic veg and means we can offer 100% organic Recipe Boxes. 

Kirsty Hale, Head of Recipes at Riverford, shares this vibrant recipe: 

Enjoy our take on a favourite plant-based takeaway with these easy to make falafels,
served in warm tortillas with seasonal and versatile greens and topped with our
favourite sweet chilli sauce and crunchy sesame. It’s a tasty, healthy version - ideal to
be enjoyed in your own home or garden!

1 pack tortillas
100g brown basmati rice
1 small piece ginger
1 tin chickpeas
1 lime
20g chickpea flour
1 tbsp harissa
1 pointed cabbage
1 carrot
1 red Romano pepper
1 red onion
1 chilli - add to taste
1 tbsp tahini
1 pack sweet chilli sauce
1 tbsp sesame seeds
salt & pepper and cooking oil

Boil a kettle. Put your oven on to 160°C/Gas 3.

Wrap 4 of the tortillas in foil and set aside for now.

Rinse the rice well in a sieve under cold water. Transfer it to a small saucepan.

Cut the ginger into 3-4 pieces (no need to peel) and pop it in the saucepan with the rice. Add plenty of boiled water. Boil for 20 minutes, until tender with a little bite, while you continue.

Drain the chickpeas. Place them in a medium bowl and mash well witha potato masher or fork until they’reall mashed together nicely; a few odd lumpy bits are fine.

Finely grate the lime zest.

Into the chickpeas, mix in the chickpea flour, harissa and half the lime zest. Season well with salt and  pepper. Form the mixture into 8 mini burger style shapes. Transfer to a plate.

Thinly shred a couple of good handfuls of cabbage. Place in a large bowl. Peel and coarsely grate the carrot, add that. Chop the pepper from the pointed end inwards into thin rings, avoiding the seedy part at the base. Add that.

Peel and thinly slice a little red onion to your liking, add that to the bowl too. Chop a little chilli and add to taste, along with the remaining lime zest, then season with salt, pepper and lime juice, all to taste. This is your slaw.

Mix the tahini with a little cold water in a mug, to make it a consistency that can be drizzled (approx. 1 tbsp water).

Put the tortillas in the oven to warm through - approx. 5 minutes.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan, to a medium heat. Fry the chickpea falafels for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden, turning them carefully as they can be a little fragile.

Meanwhile, drain the rice well, remove the ginger pieces and set aside to drain, covering the sieve with a plate to keep the rice warm, if needed.

Fill the tortillas with a little of the rice, some slaw and top with the chickpea falafels, some tahini dressing and sweet chilli sauce to your liking, finishing with a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Serve with any remaining rice and slaw on the side.


If you have a little more time, you could toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan beforehand, and also chop and fry the leftover red onion (not used in the slaw) with a few extra spices from your store cupboard – try cumin, coriander or garam masala. Let it cool then add it to the falafel mix. You can make the falafels and slaw ahead of time. Fry the falafels when ready to serve. Uncooked falafels can be frozen. Any leftover tortillas can also be frozen.