BAKED FALAFEL

Falafel! They have always been my favorite thing to order while I am dining out in any middle eastern restaurant. If you haven’t tried falafel, they are middle eastern fritters made with chickpeas and delicately spiced with tons of fresh herbs and spices. They are usually deep fried, have a heavy coarse texture, are shatteringly crisp from the outside and crumbly from the inside still being quite moist and light. I always wanted to try making them at home but was always taken aback by the fact that they are deep fried, and i knew that if i crack a good falafel recipe then i would be making it quite often. And I did not want myself hogging on this deep fried delicacy that often. So, here’s my win win solution to this. Baked homemade falafel.

These falafel are so easy to make, and i bet the taste is just perfect even though they are baked. All you need to do is throw all the ingredients in the food processor and let the dough churn until it reaches the right consistency.  I started off with soaking the chickpeas overnight for the falafel. Now this is the key to making good falafel. You cannot use canned or boiled chickpeas here. The starch from the soaked chickpeas helps in binding the falafel and maintains it’s light and coarse texture.

Another secret to making perfect falafels is using tons of herbs. I added loads of parsley and coriander because not only does it impart fresh flavor but also gives bright emerald falafel. Addition of onion, garlic and spices like cumin, coriander, pepper are imperative to enhance its distinctive taste.

Falafel is a good source of soluble fiber that helps lower LDL. It is naturally gluten free, vegan and has a high amount of plant based protein. So try making these simple, flavorful, garlicky and super satisfying falafel for your next meal. After all, who needs a take out when you can make such delicious falafel at home.

The given recipe yields 15 – 18 falafels

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas.
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons chickpea flour
  • salt as per taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  • Soak the chickpeas in water overnight or for at least 8 hours.
  • Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
  • In a food processor, add the chickpeas, onions, garlic, parsley, cilantro, black pepper, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, ground cardamom and lemon juice. Pulse the mixture together until a rough and coarse meal forms. Do not over process otherwise the mixture will turn mushy.
  • Now remove the mixture in a bowl. Add the chickpea flour, tahini and salt and give it a nice mix.
  • Preheat the oven at 400 degrees F.
  • Evenly coat a lined baking tray with 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Scoop the falafel mixture with your hands and form slider shaped patties. Place each falafel on the baking tray.
  • Bake the falafel for 18 minutes, flip, and bake for another 15 minutes.
  • Serve with cucumber, tomatoes, onions, olives, greens, pita, hummus, tzatziki, feta or with your choice of additional servings.

Notes

Serving suggestions

  • Falafel can be served with pita bread. Create a pita wrap by adding falafel, greens, hummus, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, olives and feta.
  • Add falafel to your buddha bowl along with veggies, hummus, tabbouleh and tahini sauce.
  • Eat falafel with tahini sauce on its own.

Storing falafel

  • Falafel keeps well for 4 days when refrigerated and for a month if freezed.
  • You can freeze uncooked falafel for about two months. Place the patties on a lined baking tray and pop it into the freezer for about an hour until the patties are hardened. Tranfer them in a freezer safe ziplock and store. Bake them whenever required. A very good option for make ahead meals.

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