Baked Falafel (With Lemon Tahini Dressing)
In our continued mission to provide Little Boy Green with an enjoyable and varied diet, I am pleased to report that he enjoyed these little patties. Without any intention on our part of deceiving him, he thought that they were cookies and, I believe, was not unpleasantly surprised when he realised that they were to a cookie what a carrot is to an orange lolly.
The falafel are very easy to prepare, nutritious, easy to store (can be cooked and then frozen) and can be enjoyed on-the-go. Mrs Green and I enjoyed ours stuffed in a wholewheat pita with mint, sliced cabbage and tomato, pickled peppers and gherkins and a generous drizzle of lemon tahini dressing. They could easily be served as a starter or a side on their own with a drizzle of the dressing. We are keen to try them as a burger substitute by making them larger and baking for longer, perhaps thrown on a bbq to reheat on a hot and sunny day?
Baking the falafel makes an equally delicious alternative to frying, and, really, any significant difference is lost once it is served in a sandwich. The main difference of course is in the cooking process- because no frying is involved, it is much less of a hassle to make falafel, the house doesn’t smell like a chippy’s and it saves us from wondering what to do with the cooking oil once we are done (it doesn’t belong down the sink). Most of all, it is a nutritious and versatile all-family dish.
Falafel (approx. 18 small patties)
Ingredients: (serves 4 adults)
- 2 X 400g cans of chickpeas
- Small bunch of parsley, approx. 40g
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 4 tbsp rolled oats
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 of an onion
- 2 large garlic cloves
- A pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
Method: (see video below)
- In the video I chopped the garlic, onion and parsley by hand (Baby Green was asleep in the kitchen), placed in a large mixing bowl along with the rest of the ingredients and used a potato masher to blend and crush the ingredients. This process took about 5 min.
- Alternatively, you could use a food processor. Roughly chop the parsley and onion and place in a food process with the S blade along with the cumin, garlic and salt and pulse into a a medium-coarse mixture - not a smooth paste. Drain and add the chickpeas, lemon juice and oats and pulse to combine and to break down the chickpeas, enough to create a coarse mixture (remember, not a paste).
- Place mixture in the refrigerator for at least 30 min. This will allow the flavours to marry up and enhance and lets the oats soak up any moisture for a firmer mixture.
- Spread the sesame seeds on a small plate, shape the mixture into small falafel patties (about a thumb's length in circumference) and coat in the sesame seeds.
- Place the patties onto an oiled baking tray, or use non-stick baking paper and bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 35-45 minutes (depending on how much crunch you are after).
Lemon Tahini Dressing
- 4 tbsp (2 heaped tbsp) dark tahini paste
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 50 ml water
- Salt to taste
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl or use a mini food processor. The sauce can thicken if not used immediately. If so, simply add a splash of water and whisk again.