Crispy Baked Falafel
Updated: Dec 8, 2020
A crispy, healthy take on the traditional deep-fried Mediterranean delicacy.
Raise your hand if you like falafel! Me too! I remember(before we had to quarantine, of course) being a kid--er, smaller kid. Our family would always go to Mediterranean restaurants and be presented with a plate filled with a bunch of different foods: squares of pita bread, hummus, salad, tzatziki sauce, and, of course, falafel. I remember taking pita and hummus, and piling on a bunch of falafel, then stuffing my face till I was too full to move. Thankfully, I don't do that anymore, but this falafel recipe brings back those memories.
If you've ever had falafel, you probably know the joys of the crispy, spiced balls of goodness. And you also probably know that traditional deep-fried falafel isn't exactly the best to eat on a daily basis.
So some dude(probably with the last name Falafel) thought that maybe this delicacy could be made without all that excess oil(and mess). I present to you, baked falafel!
This is pretty close to a fried falafel recipe: chickpeas, a bit of flour, spices, mix it all up, shape into little balls, and cook 'em. Except for instead of scalding our chickpeas alive in a vat of boiling oil(think old-school execution), we're baking them. So they suffer more........evenly. (Don't come at me for chickpea abuse).
If you've ever sat in the sun before, you probably know the feeling when you sit with only one side facing the light. One side of your face gets fully baked, and the other side is left feeling cold and sad. Like falafel- if you don't flip it. To prevent that half-baked disaster, these bad boys will need to be flipped about halfway through. Kind of annoying sometimes, but totally worth it. Plus, if you really want to impress your friends(and your taste buds, of course!), you can additionally pan-fry them for a couple minutes on each side. Falafel perfection!
Course: Side/component of main meal
Author: Prachi Marfatia
Servings: 12-14 medium falafels, about 3-4 servings
2 cups canned or cooked chickpeas(about 3/4 cup dry)
3-4 tbsp millet, whole wheat, or chickpea flour
2 tbsp any liquid oil(olive, sesame, or safflower work great)
1/2-1 cup water, depending on consistency
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp chili powder or paprika
1/4 tsp ground cumin/pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garam masala(or other spice mix of choice)
1-2 tbsp chopped onion
2 tbsp fresh coriander(optional)
Additional seasoning like turmeric, cloves, etc.(optional)
Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit(180°Celsius). Line a baking tray with parchment paper or slather with a thin layer of oil/cooking spray. Mash the chickpeas in a large bowl(you can do this by hand or with a blender). Add the spices, flour, onion, and coriander if using, then mix gently to combine. Now pour in water little by little until a dry but doughy consistency is achieved. Shape the mixture into balls and put on the tray. Brush both sides lightly with a teensy bit of oil. Slide into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, then flip and do 15-20 more.
Serve hot or at room temperature, with sauces or in a wrap. Dig in!