Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern street food that is popular in the West too. I’ve never found that restaurants in my city offering falafel satisfy my craving for these little bites, so what to do except make my own. Typically deep-fried and sometimes made with chickpeas that have been soaked for at least 12 hours but that aren’t cooked before using, I always prefer cooking my chickpeas. I bake them rather than frying for a healthier alternative. They really are easy to make. All you need is a food processor, a baking sheet, and a bit of patience shaping them into little balls of goodness. They are not as crispy as the deep-fried version, but I really prefer the texture and goodness of baked falafel without all the grease and fuss. I also like to spice mine up for extra flavor.
Falafel may be served as an appetizer along with the lemon tahini sauce that I consider essential to the falafel experience. Or serve as part of a meal, with some lemon tahini sauce, flat breads if you please, a side salad and cooked grain, such as quinoa or rice.
|Homemade Baked Chickpea Falafel
|Recipe by Lisa Turner
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Published on November 21, 2017
Warm spiced chickpea falafel — baked instead of fried, and served with a creamy, tangy and nutty lemon tahini sauce
Print this recipe
- 1 cup dried chickpeas (3 cups cooked or 2 14 oz cans)
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
- small handful of fresh parsley, trimmed and chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 red or green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
Lemon tahini sauce:
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
- water to thin as needed
- sea salt to taste
Rinse the chickpeas and soak for 8 hours or overnight in enough water to cover. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a medium saucepan and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the chickpeas are tender — 1 to 1/2 hours. Drain and transfer to a food processor.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Add the remaining falafel ingredients to the food processor and process until smooth. The mixture should be thick and fairly dry, but if necessary, add a bit more oil. If it is too moist, add a bit of chickpea flour. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Shape the chilled falafel mixture into small 1-inch balls and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 375° oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown, turning them part way through the baking time.
While the falafel is baking, prepare the tahini sauce. Whisk together all of the ingredients in a medium bowl until creamy. Add water as needed to thin out the mixture.
Serve the falafel hot with the lemon tahini sauce on the side. The falafel can be served in pita pockets with chopped tomato and dill pickle along with the sauce.
As an alternative to the lemon tahini sauce, you can serve falafel with a yogurt sauce made by whisking together 1 1/4 cups plain yogurt, 1/4 cup tahini, juice from 1 large lemon (3 tablespoons), and sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
You may also wish to serve the falafel with hummus, cooked quinoa and salad for a complete and satisfying meal.
Makes 18 to 20 falafel
I’m sharing this with My Legume Love Affair, hosted this month by Archana of The Mad Scientists Kitchen.
Other falafel recipes to enjoy from Lisa’s Kitchen:
Baked Quinoa Falafel Bites
Lentil-Quinoa Falafel with Coconut-Fenugreek Sauce
Sweet Potato Falafel
Baked Pumpkin Falafel with Tahini Lemon Sauce
On the top of the reading stack:
August 1914: A Novel: The Red Wheel I by Solzhenitsyn