Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Baked Falafel


I love chickpeas (kikkererwten in Dutch- which translates literally to "frog peas"). I will just sit and eat them plain I think they're so good. Since that's not such a complete meal idea I'm compelled to find good ideas for things to actually incorporate them into. I discovered baked falafel sandwiches one day as I was perusing the interwebs and decided to give them a try. I've not actually had "authentic" (deep fried) falafel so I don't know how similar it is, but this tastes pretty darn good to me!

Baked Falafel

You will need:

2 cups cooked chickpeas (about 1 cup dried or 1 large can)
1/2 cup onion, chopped finely
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt (you can omit this if you used canned beans)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley

Combine all ingredients and mash together with a potato masher or a big fork. You can also do this step in a food processor but take care not to over "process" as the falafel balls get really crumbly and hard to work with if it's chopped too much. The texture should still be rather coarse, but make sure all of the ingredients are incorporated together and mixed well.

Since the pitas I put these into are usually rather tiny, I use my tablespoon measuring spoon to form small domes that I then gently flatten a bit. If I had larger pitas I would make larger balls because the small ones are tricky and tend to crumble if you're not careful. I'd recommend 1/8 cup to 1/4 cup size balls. Whatever size you decide to make, go ahead and roll them into balls and press them flat on your cookie sheet.

Brush a bit of olive oil over the top of each falafel. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes, flip the falafels and bake another 20 minutes. If you've done really small ones like I usually do, I'd cut the cooking time in half. Otherwise you'll end up with little blackened discs and a sad face.

Serve in a pita with some lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and top with some homemade tzatziki!


The finished product of this doesn't really photograph well (as evidenced by the above picture of it on the pita sandwich), so you can look at this nice picture of ingredients instead!

You will need:

1 cup yogurt (use your own, or a nice THICK Greek yogurt)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup seeded and minced cucumber (this was about an 8 inch chunk of cucumber)
1/4 tsp salt, more if you decide it needs more.

Mix all your ingredients together well and let sit for a few hours in the fridge. Taste and add more salt if desired.

I know that many people put mint in their tzatziki, but I prefer it without.


Martijn said...

OOoh, this looks really tasty. I should ask my wife to make it someday ;)

Noodle said...

hehe really funny tijn...=) Your wife cooks so many tasty dishes that I wouldn't try in a million years... Your lucky my poor husband has to suffer...

Kaycee said...

This looks so good. I've never had falafel either, but it looks very simple. I think it might make it on the menu plan next week for our meatless meal.

Erika said...

That looks really good. I love chick peas too!
I will have to try this I have been cutting meat out of our diet more and more not totally since hubby would die from meat withdrawl but less of it.

Anonymous said...

So you made it and then ate it all up yourself so that your poor husband didn't get any? Shocking! :P

Wizardress said...

I loveee chick peas too.. I saw once where Rachel Ray took some that were cooked and put them in a skillet with a touch of oil and browned them a little and at them as a snack. They looked really good, but I've never tried it.

I've also never had falafal but it looks good!

Wizardress said...

Does Martijn call you his keukenprincess :)

martijn said...

Yes, she is my keukenprinses. I don't think I can ever tell her enough how much I appreciate her cooking for me almost every day.

cuppy said...

Ahhh... I baked, too... but I poured the oil in the pan!! Next time I'll brush my falafel instead. :)

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