Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern street food that has become popular in the West too. They are made with chickpeas, onion, garlic and spices and usually served with sauces such as hot sauce or tahini-based sauces, pickles and vegetables. They are commonly stuffed into or wrapped in pita breads to make a sandwich.
I've long been a fan of falafel and have made them before at home on a few occasions, but not since I started this chronicle of my cooking adventures. In the past, I have deep fried them, but frying is messy and oily. An alternative solution is to bake them, as I have done here. My recipe is also not traditional as usually the chickpeas aren't cooked but instead are soaked for at least 12 hours and then ground up and formed into patties or balls before frying.
I was more than satisfied with the results. While they were not as crispy as the fried version, I dare say they were even better and reminded me very much of one of favorite recipes for Indian baked koftas.
I found the sauce was an essential accompaniment for a more authentic falafel taste experience. That said, to make the meal suitable for vegans, omit the yogurt sauce and serve with other accompaniments and/or come up with your own tahini sauce.
Notes: The falafel I made were roughly 1 1/2 inches in diameter. You can make them smaller if you want a greater number. I ended up with about 12 and found two served in a pita pocket with tomato, chopped dill pickle and smothered with sauce made for a satisfying meal. You might want to consider serving them with a side salad as well.
If you make them ahead of time, you can wrap them in foil and reheat them in a preheated 325° oven until warmed throughout.
|Baked Falafel with Lemon Tahini Sauce|
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Published on January 27, 2014
Soft, spicy and savory baked chickpea falafels served with a simple tangy lemon, tahini and yogurt sauce
Other little bites of bliss you are sure to enjoy from Lisa's Kitchen:
Chickpea Potato Koftas with Ricotta
Vegetarian Samosa Cake with Tamarind Chutney
Brown Rice Quinoa Cakes with Parmesan
Coleslaw Bites with Jalapeno Dip
On the top of the reading stack: The Fall by Albert Camus
Audio Accompaniment: Beautyfear by Marsen Jules