Baked falafel

Falafel is made from fava beans, chick peas, or a combination of the two. The use of chick peas is predominant in most Middle Eastern countries, with the dish usually made with chick peas in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and Palestine.

Sofia's experience with rather expensive, often dry, commercially made falafel was the catalyst for her to try making her own. An added bonus is to oven bake the falafel rather than frying, resulting in a lighter and a healthier option.

Serve with delicious tabouli and some hummus (the Aldi brand is excellent) on pita or Lebanese bread and this dish may become a family favourite.

Important notes

  • This recipe is vegan / vegetarian — healthy and wholesome for the entire family
  • Sofia used canned chick peas, which is quite OK. However, if you'd like to follow the authentic traditional process, simply soak a cup of dried chick peas in fridge for 24 hours and use those. Sofia's made a mental note to go the tradition route next time to compare the results.
  • You'll need a food processor for this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 15 to 20 oz can chick peas, drained or 1 cup dried chick peas, soaked for 24 hours and drained
  • ½ onion
  • 6 tablespoons of chopped parsley and/or cilantro (around 2/3 parsley, 1/3 cilantro)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, depending on your taste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • pinch of cayenne
  • two tablespoons of olive oil (for the falafel and for the baking sheet)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

Step 1: Preheat and prep

  • Turn the oven on to 200 C.
  • Roughly chop the herbs, onions and garlic (Why?...Because many food processors dislike big pieces.)

Step 2: Process

  • Throw everything into the food processor on 'pulse' setting
  • Scrape down the sides until everything is finely processed and combined, but not pureed (If you're having problems getting it to come together, add a tiny bit of olive oil to help it along)
  • The mixture should be slightly wet and hold together well
  • Taste everything at this point and adjust seasonings as needed

Step 3: Oil the baking sheet and form patties

  • The mixture should make 10 medium size patties
  • Start with balls about two inches wide and then flatten them (flat patties cook better in the oven and are easier to eat in a pita pocket)
  • You may prefer larger or smaller patties, but you might need to adjust the cooking time

Step 4: Cooking

  • After 10 minutes in the oven, carefully flip the patties — they'll be starting to brown and should be pretty firm at this stage
  • Cook for a further 15 minutes
  • When you remove the patties from the oven, flip them to reveal the lovely brown underside
  • The outsides should be crusty, and the insides nice and soft

Step 5: Serve

  • Serve with yogurt or sour cream, tabouli, hummus, tahini sauce, guacamole, or tzatziki

Recipe and image source

jessyratfink | Instructables.com