Monday, August 18, 2014

Baked Falafel with Sides

I wanted to try my hand at baked falafel, which came out surprisingly moist on the inside and crispy on the outside. Falafel is an incredible vegetarian staple -- ideal for sandwich/pitas, but also so tasty in salads. Made out of chickpeas, it's wonderfully filling and protein-rich. When it's baked instead of fried, it's the ideal light and healthy dinner.

The chickpeas have to be soaked overnight, then processed finely with parsley, garlic, onions, and spices to taste. This mixture is easy to mold into round balls, and pop into the oven at 400 degrees for twenty minutes.

While I've been successful at making falafel balls in the past, I've never got the tahini sauce down pat. I'm so pleased by how it came out this time -- I just pulsed (for a long time) the sesame paste with lemon juice, garlic, sea salt, a dash of olive oil and water, along with fresh parsley. I also made a side of mint-yogurt sauce, using greek yogurt, avocado, fresh mint, chopped onions and some water.

To mix things up a bit, I made an Indian style "tabbouleh" using diced cucumbers, onions, tomatoes  and jalapenos marinated in some lemon juice with cumin, turmeric and chaat masala. Instead of parsley, I used a ton of fresh cilantro which brightened it up so nicely.

While I served this with whole-wheat pita, it is just as delicious to have the falafel balls over the tabbouleh, dressed with the sides.



  1. One of my first dinner parties was homemade falafel - made the mistake of using canned chickpeas and had to play it off as hummus as nothing would stick lol, really enjoyed reading this as I went through similar things while cooking - its only been uphill since then. Favorite sides I've integrated is a bed of chopped olives and red cabbage with grilled halloumi cheese (season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, chili flakes and oregano) on top and lentil soup.

  2. Ooh love the idea of olives and red cabbage! Yum.