I freaking love falafel, and for some reason I’ve always enjoyed the baked kind more than the fried. Maybe it’s memories of greasy kebab shops with crispy oily falafels that leave a coating in your mouth. Maybe it’s the fact that you can put them in the oven and leave them be to do their thing without too much worry. Whatever the reason, they rock.
I actually made this recipe back in Gympie when we were living in the van. Oh, how it seems so long ago…cooking in our tiny fold out kitchen on the side of the road or in the bush. Those were the days! I didn’t have an oven then to bake them, but have since made the recipe again and enjoyed it as much.
What I liked about these is how moist they are, they don’t dry out even when baked. Rather than being like dry biscuits, they are like mouthfuls of creamy hummus. And who doesn’t love hummus?! They are also one of those magical foods that taste even better the next day, so they make great leftover lunch.
Of course, tabouli is the perfect match for falafels, and I love the hint of mint hidden away in it – so fresh and zangy. Oh and the parsley helps with the garlic breath you may find you have after eating all this. You’re welcome.
(serves 4 as a side dish)
1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup cucumber, diced
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1 bunch flat leafed parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice of one lemon
3 Tbsp olive oil
Rinse and cook quinoa according to instructions. I usually do 1 part quinoa to 2 parts liquid. Allow to cool.
Add quinoa, tomato, cucumber, red onion, parsley and mint to a bowl and toss to combine.
Whisk garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt in a small bowl. Pour over tabouli and mix through.
Ta-daaaaa! Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
(makes 12-14 small falafels)
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
2-3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/4 brown onion, diced
2 Tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp hulled tahini
3 Tbsp chickpea flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 200C and lightly grease a tray.
Blend onion, garlic, parsley and coriander in a food processor or blender.
Add half of the chickpeas, cumin, paprika, lemon juice and tahini and mix until well combined.
Add the remaining chickpeas, and pulse until just combined. I like to leave half of them kind of chunky.
Transfer mix to a bowl, and stir in flour and baking powder. The mix should be like a thick paste or soft dough and you should be able to roll it into balls without making too much of a mess. If it’s too wet, add a little more flour. If too dry, try adding some more lemon juice or water.
Roll mixture into balls and lay out on the tray, press slightly to flatten into disc shapes. Spray or brush lightly with olive oil (optional).
Cook for 15 minutes, then carefully flip each falafel over. Bake for another ten mins, until golden brown.
Serve with tabouli and dressing of choice – here I whisked together some tahini, white wine vinegar, water and smoked paprika, then topped with some hot sauce (of course!)