Halloween Falafel Spiders

by Sala @ Veggie Belly on October 27, 2010

Whether you make these scary falafel spiders for Halloween or make just the falafel patties for a party, you will never go out for falafel again. Other than the soaking and frying, these homemade falafels are an easy, delicious vegan treat and so worth the effort. I always make extra and freeze the dough.

How to make falafel

Drain soaked chickpeas and defrosted fava beans. Place them in a food processor along with onion, garlic, cilantro, parsley, cumin, coriander, chili powder, crumbled bread and baking powder. Grind to a coarse dough.

Form the falafel dough into balls, and flatten each ball a little. Fry in hot oil till golden. Flip the falafel gently and brown the other side.

How to make scary falafel spiders – a vegan halloween idea

Insert green pepper strips for spider legs. Apply hummus or cream cheese using a toothpick where the eyes and mouth should be. Stick olive pieces for the eyes and red pepper strip for the mouth.

Boo!

Note: Egyptian style falafel uses fava beas (also called broad beans). I love fava beans in falafel, but I also enjoy the texture of the soaked chickpeas. So I use 2/3rds chickpeas and 1/3rd fava beans in this falafel recipe.

I use frozen, shelled fava beans. If you cant find this, use ¼ cup dried, shelled fava beans and soak them over night along with the chickpeas. If you cant find or dont like fava beans, simply use 1/4th cup extra of dried chickpeas.

Dont be tempted to use canned chickpeas, dried chickpeas or garbanzo beans that have been soaked over night are the best.

If you dont want to make these falafels into spiders, simply serve them with pita bread, hummus, tahini, tomato slices and lettuce.

More falafel recipes..
A favorite falafel recipe using chickpeas only on epicurious
An easy falafel recipe on the hummus blog
Arab levant falafel recipe using fava beans by Clifford Wright
Egyptian falafel recipe
Fava bean and chickpea falafel with sumac recipe by the amazing Meeta

Halloween Falafel Spiders Recipe

Makes 8 falafels

For the falafel
½ cup dried chickpeas or grabanzo beans
½ cup frozen, skinned fava beans, defrosted. Substtute with an additional 1/4th cup dried chickpeas.
½ small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled
¼ cup (loosely packed) chopped cilantro
¼ cup (loosely packed) chopped parsley
½ teaspoon cayenne or chili powder (use less for milder falafel)
¾ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon coriander powder
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons crumbled stale bread
½ teaspoon, or to taste, salt

Oil for frying

Place the chickpeas in a bowl, and fill with water. Soak the chickpeas overnight (about 8-10 hours).

After soaking, drain the chickpeas well and place them on several layers of paper towels. Place the defrosted, skinned  fava beans on the paper towels as well. Dab the chickpeas and fava beans dry.

Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas, and the defrosted fava beans in a food processor. Add all other ingredients, except the oil,  to the food processor. Don’t add water. Pulse till it forms slightly coarse dough (see pictures above). Sprinkle a little water if the mixture is too dry. If it is too wet, add more bread pieces and pulse again.

Divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Form each part into a ball and flatten a little.

Heat oil in a skillet. Pour enough oil so that a falafel will submerge in oil half way (see pictures). When the oil is hot, test a small drop of falafel dough by dropping it into the oil. It should sizzle and float to the top of the oil. If it doesn’t sizzle and sinks, oil is not hot enough. If it gets too brown or black quickly, the oil is too hot.

Place the falafels, a few at a time, into the oil. When one side is browned, carefully flip the falafel and brown the other side. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels.

Serve falafels with hummus, tahini sauce, sliced tomatoes, lettuce, and pita bread.

For falafel spiders
8 falafels (recipe above)
1 small red pepper
2 medium green pepper
3-4 black olives
1 teaspoon hummus or cream cheese
A sharp knife
A tooth pick

Cut the red pepper in half, and remove the inner white membrane. Using a sharp knife, carve out a shape that looks like the spiders mouth. Cut out 8 mouths.

Cut each green pepper into 8 thin rings. Cut each ring into half. These are the spider legs.

Cut each olive into half lengthwise. Cut each half into 3 semi circles. These are the spider’s eyes.

Place a falafel on a serving platter. Take the green pepper legs and insert them into the sides of the falafels to look like spider legs.

Using a tooth pick, dot a little hummus or cream cheese where the eyes and mouth should be. The hummus or cream cheese will act as the glue. Then carefully place the olives for eyes and the red pepper for a mouth. Dot a little more hummus or cream cheese over the olive eyes.

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Comments

comments

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Claire October 27, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Spiders! I love these.

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2 caren gittleman October 27, 2010 at 6:23 pm

The photographs are great and these are adorable and they look delicious!!! Very clever!

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3 Rachel October 27, 2010 at 6:24 pm

So cute! I’m definitely going to try your falafel recipe. I’ve never had much success making it at home. Maybe your dried and soaked chickpea advice is key!

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4 Jennifer October 27, 2010 at 6:55 pm

What a change to see something Halloween themed but savoury and healthy too. I love it and will definitely have to try your felafel recipe. I tried to make felafels recently but for some reason the mixture pretty much crumbled/dissolved the moment it was put in the hot oil . Any tips for what I did wrong?

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

You probably need some kind of binder – eggs, bread, or flour.

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Emma Reply:

I just made these (I LOVE falafel) but they completely fell apart as soon as I put them in the oil. Could it be because I used breadcrumbs instead of stale bread? Will certainly try them again soon.

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

maybe you needed more breadcrumbs to hold everything together. also make sure you drain the chickpeas very well, any extra moisture may cause the falafel to break apart.

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5 Shaan October 27, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Awesome! You are really a very patient and amazing cook! I love ur recipes :)

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6 Brian @ A Thought For Food October 27, 2010 at 8:10 pm

HA! These are adorable! Who knew that falafel could be so scary!?!

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7 anu menon October 27, 2010 at 8:11 pm

booya… i’ll have to think twice before biting into these – hopefully they wont bite back!
Yappie Yalloween…

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8 Alecia October 27, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Sooo cute! What a fun idea, and booootiful pictures. People don’t do enough savory recipes for Halloween–gotta have something to go with all the candy. Happy Halloween!

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9 Siri October 27, 2010 at 8:36 pm

these falafel are super cute Sala :) .

Siri

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10 Soma October 27, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Those are really really cute!

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11 janet October 28, 2010 at 5:43 am

Wow! These are so cute! I love how this is a savoury Hallowe’en meal! :)

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12 Happy Cook October 28, 2010 at 5:43 am

They look so so cute, really kids would love this. My daughter hates spiders so if i make these she might run a mile :-)

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13 Acquired October 28, 2010 at 5:43 am

Now, Falafel I love; spiders not

Check out these spider shoes I came across. Great for a halloween party! http://acquired.blogspot.com/2010/10/perfect-shoes-for-halloween.html

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

oh my god! id be quite afraid to wear those spider shoes!

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14 roxan October 28, 2010 at 5:44 am

Omg this has to be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. These are WAY better than the spider cupcakes that always show up around halloween! I think even my husband would eat falafel if i served it to him like this.

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15 VegTVision October 28, 2010 at 5:44 am

So happy. Finally I found a pan fried version of falafels. Love the deco. ;-P yummy. bbb (three thumbs up)

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16 Sharmilee October 28, 2010 at 5:44 am

Really cute….Looks so gud

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17 FoodZone October 28, 2010 at 11:25 am

Love the spiders. They look super cute! Falafel looks very crispy and yummy. Bookmarkered the recipe.

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18 Katrina (gluten free gidget) October 28, 2010 at 5:38 pm

The hands down most adorable Halloween meal EVER!

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19 Ganesh October 28, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Very cute. Good job Sala, as always!

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20 Anu October 29, 2010 at 11:37 am

I tried em out last night… without the fava though(i’m kinda scared of that bean) and they tasted just like they look here – great!

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

im very curious to know why you are afraid of fava beans ??! (i love them!). But yes, this recipe will work just fine with chickpeas only (see the recipe for how much chickpeas to use instead of fava beans).

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Anu Menon Reply:

See post marriage was the first time i ever tasted those beans and that too in the frozen mixed veggies mix – my (R)oomie’s then favourite dish was mixed veggies in Tikka masala. When I bit into the fava beans it somehow left a very bland/bitter(hard to explain) taste in my mouth and I’ve never dared to try them out again :( i know cowardly of me but that’s d truth

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21 Nithya October 29, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Look choooo cute :) love it totally :)

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22 myra October 29, 2010 at 2:26 pm

I tried these last night. Acutally, I saw the pictue and that inspired me. I made my spiders out of regular meatballs and applied the rest of the body using your advice. I will have to try your recipe but last night I didn’t have the ingrediants on hand. Will try this again during the weekend and your recipe. Thanks for the idea and the inspiration.

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

thats great! ofcourse, anything that is round, can be used for the spiders body :)

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23 Mariela October 30, 2010 at 5:05 am

These look fantastic, just like every single other recipe on this site! I just wanted to point out that they can be made with canned chickpeas – just rinse them well to get rid of all the snot they come with and let them dry a little. I used to make this recipe with restaurant-sized cans of chickpeas for my co-op in college, but I would bake them (it’s easier when making 100s of them!).

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24 Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets October 30, 2010 at 8:38 am

Haha I’ve seen these featured on 2 other sites (linking to yours of course) before I got to it on my reader. Awesome idea for Halloween, Sala.

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25 Sandhya@vegetarianirvana October 31, 2010 at 4:50 am

cutest food craft ever.

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26 Lauren @ vegology October 31, 2010 at 9:16 am

I absolutely adore these! What a great idea!

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27 L November 1, 2010 at 5:41 am

I made these for a Halloween party tonight– very cute, and got lots of complements. Thanks for the recipe!

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28 Susan: My Food Obsession November 1, 2010 at 5:41 am

LOL! I couldn’t help but smile when I saw your spider falafel! It’s great to see some savory Halloween recipes for a change :)

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29 pavithra November 1, 2010 at 12:33 pm

That looks so cute ….

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30 cumin November 2, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Aw so cute!

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31 Alli November 4, 2010 at 4:25 am

They are just too cute! What a fun way to make falafal.

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32 nandini.p November 18, 2010 at 7:04 am

So cute… Step by step is great help for me as i have never tried it before. Sure will make it now.

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33 Deepa November 16, 2011 at 5:59 pm

These are adorable!

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34 CL November 24, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Have you tried baking these? I wonder how it will turn out.

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35 cathy @ Noble Pig September 29, 2012 at 11:25 pm

So adorable! I am going to link to these in my upcoming Halloween Recipes post.

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36 Vijitha October 29, 2012 at 11:24 am

That looks uber cute Sala. My son would love this spider with my spider web cookies :-)

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37 Shema George October 29, 2012 at 11:41 am

These Spiders are delicious :) Love the idea…especially their green pepper legs :)

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