Chef Nin's green curry falafel dishes sit on a white plate

A Thai Twist on Falafel

Green curry paste and lemongrass infused honey kick this dish up a notch

ICE partnered with the Battery Park City Authority, an organization in our New York City neighborhood whose mission is to develop community on the Lower West Side of Manhattan, for a demonstration featuring honey.

Honey is the star of Plant-Based Culinary Arts Chef-Instructor Chayanin (Nin) Pornsriniyom's recipe for Green Curry Falafel with Lemongrass Honey.

The honey Chef Nin uses is not just any honey — it's honey that was produced by the bee hives in local Rockerfeller Park. It's added to the falafel mixture itself and is drizzled over each bite for an added sweet and savory note.

Related: A Chef's Insight: Honey

Drawing on her Thai roots for inspiration, Chef Nin incorporates lemongrass and green curry paste into this recipe to boost flavor. During the demonstration, she explained how to break down lemongrass and walked the audience through two different methods for infusing it into the honey – one of which is explained in the recipe below. The green curry paste is added to the falafel mixture to add an herbaceous spicy flavor. 

Chef Nin also shared tips for making falafel during the event. She explained why it’s best to use dried chickpeas (you’ll get a better texture and taste than canned) and why you shouldn’t pack the falafel batter together too much (this will ensure the resulting falafel are fluffy and light when fried).

Here's how to make Chef Nin's falafel recipe at home.

green curry falafel



Green Curry Falafel with Lemongrass Honey

Makes 30 falafel, about 6 servings



For the Lemongrass Honey:
  • 4 cups honey
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
For the Falafel and Assembly:
  • 4 cups chickpeas (soaked overnight)
  • 2 bunches parsley 
  • 2 bunches cilantro
  • 2 small onions, quartered
  • 14-16 garlic cloves, whole
  • 1 cup green curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • Salt to taste 
  • Yogurt, for serving


For the Lemongrass Honey:
  1. Mix the honey and chopped lemongrass in a saucepan.
  2. Let the mixture sit on low heat for 10 minutes, making sure to stir often to prevent burning on the side of the pan.
  3. Remove saucepan from the heat and pour the mixture into a jar. Refrigerate for up to 3 months.
For the Falafel and Assembly:
  1. Drain chickpeas and rinse off well, then pat dry.
  2. Put chickpeas in food processor, pulse repeatedly until crumbly and resembling lentil size. Remove from machine and place into a separate bowl.
  3. Add parsley, cilantro, onions and garlic to the food processor and pulse several times into a fine mince.
  4. Add the processed chickpeas back to the food processor and pulse a few times to mix well. Be careful not to break down the chickpeas any further.
  5. Remove the mixture from machine and into a mixing bowl. Add curry paste, black pepper, cumin, coriander, sesame seeds, honey and salt to taste and mix well.
  6. Cover and chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 30 minutes prior to frying.
  7. Shape falafel using scoop or a spoon, then slightly flatten into disks. Be careful not to pack the batter together too much, so the falafel will be light and fluffy when fried. 
  8. Heat 2-3 inches of canola oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet. Fry falafel at 350°F for 2-3 minutes.
  9. Rest falafel on a cookie sheet or paper towels. Serve warm with drizzled lemongrass honey and fresh yogurt.

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