Thursday, May 19, 2011

Homemade falafel

One of my favorite little legumes.
They are so versatile. Great in salads. Necessary for hummus.

They also serve as the base ingredient for falafel.....which I love!
If you are ever in Portland Oregon, do yourself a favor and order the falafel from one of the street trucks.
Hands down, some of the best falafel I have ever had.

Falafel. A food that is fun to eat and say.
Typically when you order falafel at a restaurant, it is fried.
I like fried. I have no problem with fried. We have discussed getting a fryer for the house, but getting a fryer would mean I would need several pairs of stretchy pants. I don't think it's a good idea...yet.

Andie, over at Can you stay for dinner?, had a recipe for baked falafel, that I knew I had to try. She has a great blog, is a talented writer, and lives here in Seattle! Neighbors!

The falafel was very easy. The hard part of this recipe? Finding this:


I looked everywhere! Finally I went to Whole Foods (twist my arm) and found it!
Wait. $8 for a gigantic jar of tahini?
To be honest, I almost bought it. I needed it and had searched high and low, but I became rational.
As I was walking out, sad and wondering what to do, I ran smack into an entire display with tons of this tahini for around $4!
Once again Whole Foods saved the day, but not my money.
Traditionally, falafel is served with pita bread. I don't necessarily love pita bread. I do however love this flatbread from Trader Joe's.


It's flavorful and soft. Plus great with hummus for later!

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

For the falafel:

In your food processor combine the following and pulse until blended:

1 15 ounce can chickpeas
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 minced cloves garlic
1/4 tsp each, salt and pepper


Once falafel ingredients are well combined, shape into your patties. I made mine a little larger, but I still got 5 patties. When I was making my falafel patties, I realized that they were sticky and not forming well. However, I kept on going!


Place falafel on a greased baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

While my falafel were baking, I attempted to make a lemon tahini sauce. From what I read online tahini had a peanut butter consistency. Of course, this made me want to try it. Um, yeah, don't taste test it. It's extremely bitter and tastes nothing like peanut butter.


I combined 2 tablespoons tahini paste and the zest and juice of one lemon. Whisked together in a bowl, it quickly thickens up. Still tasted bitter, but not too bad.

I served my falafel with the flat bread, feta cheese, red onion, tomatoes, and lettuce.


When I pulled the falafel from the oven, I immediately noticed they didn't look right.
Completely flat falafel! Not the little falafel balls I was used to.
I did a taste test and the flavors were just right.

The shape?
Completely wrong.
I thought the falafel looked like cookies!
Sure enough, when darling husband came to the table he said, "what are the cookies for?!"


Falafel cookies.

Wrapped up in the flat bread and with all the fresh veggies, it tasted great!


I wasn't a fan of the lemon tahini sauce, but I had some roasted red pepper hummus that was a great substitution.
We both really enjoyed this meal, even though my falafel looked more like pancakes.

I think next time I'll just need to add more flour to the mix in the food processor. I will definitely make this again. It was easy, quick, and a healthy alternative to the fried version.

Thanks for the great idea Andie! Hope to run into you in the city sometime!

Give Andie's recipe a try and let me know what you think. Or like I always say: make it, invite me over, and I'll let you know how it tastes!

1 comment:

  1. Haha! Good one! Falafel cookies! Once they're stuffed into pitas and topped with all the salad and sauce, I'm sure they must've tasted great. We'd love to try baking them the next time we're up for a falafel fix.