February 20, 2010

Baked Falafel

So we've come to learn the bad news we got earlier, isn't much of a kink in our style after all. Especially not when it means eating all the falafel you possibly can. Which might be a lot if you are allowed to fill the hole your pancreas left behind. 

This has got to be a super food. Not an ounce of bad anything. Just protein protein protein, vegetables, herbs. But how can that combination taste any good? Well, traditional and restaurant falafel is fried. 

But lord knows we are not that kind of joint. I don't necessarily oppose deep frying for health reasons, but omg, the TIME! the MESS! the WASTE! of oil that gets dumped down the drain [or responsibly disposed in a glass jar/trash].

Baking. That's the way to go. And yes, you can get a crispy exterior. Just pre-heat your baking sheet and oil in the oven so that when the patties make contact, they sizzle and brown. Perfect for our friend Jason, who's NEVER tried falafel since giving up fried food entirely.

Wow, I guess this is now potentially the second recipe on this blog at the butt of ball jokes. Though technically they are patties. The spoonula was clutch to forming those perfect patties. I'm pretty sure it's in the lead for MVP kitchen utensil. Who doesn't love a great big red combination spatula and spoon?

Baked Falafel
Adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen
Makes 14-18 'fels

1 cup dried chickpeas or 3 cups canned (two 15oz cans)
1 cup chopped onion
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2-4 tablespoons chopped parsley (completely optional for parsley haters; aka me)
1 teaspoon salt
4 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons whole wheat (or all-purpose) flour, more if your balls don't stick together
olive oil, for baking sheet

1. Soak dried chickpeas in cold water for at least 8 hours, or over night. After chickpeas are well-softened, drain well. If using canned, rinse peas well.

2. Put chickpeas, onion, parsley, cilantro, salt, garlic, and cumin into bowl of a food processor with the steel blade attached. Pulse until mixture is well-chopped and combined, but not pureed together. My processor is a 9-cup model, so it works much better to do one half of the ingredients at a time, you will get a more even blend across particles.

3. Sprinkle over baking powder and flour and pulse a few more times to combine. Test one ball to see if mixture holds together, and if not add more flour until it does. (I didn't need to add more flour.) Put mixture into a plastic bowl with a tight-fitting lid and chill several hours or overnight (optional).

4. When ready to bake Falafel, spray or drizzle olive oil onto your baking sheet and preheat oven to 400° with your sheet inside.

5. Shape the mixture into balls, pressing each one flat with your hands and forming into a patty not quite 1/2 inch thick. Put patties on pan and bake until lightly browned flipping after 12 minutes, about 22-24 minutes total. Serve warm with yogurt sauce:

Yogurt Sauce
Tangy, delicious, whatever you have on hand:

Basic sauce starts with a single serving cup of plain yogurt. Then add to taste:

  • Chopped onion
  • Minced garlic
  • (Or possibly shallot to kill two birds with one stone)
  • Cumin - plenty
  • Cilantro - plenty
  • Parsley - unless you despise it
  • Tahini
  • Squeeze of lemon juice

Stir to combine and enjoy!


Christine said...

Made these tonight! Very good! I made the yogurt sauce as well, very garlicky. I just went with the garlic, a leek, a shake or two of cumin and the must have lemon juice. Thanks!

Erin22 said...

Thanks for this! I found your blog after it was spotlighted (spot-lit?) on thekitchn's Twitter thing...

I made the falafel tonight (just estimated amounts, but it worked) and made a modified sauce - had to use sour cream because it's all I had, added cumin, lemon juice, minced garlic, and Goya sofrito base instead of cilantro (again, what I had) and it turned out fabulous!

I served the patties in tortillas with diced cucumber, and loved it! (The boy liked it too.) Thanks!