Falafel is a traditional deep fried Middle Eastern dish. We enjoy a wonderfully healthy version by adding a few extra things like turmeric and sweet potato and bake them in the oven instead. I like to add turmeric, because it complements the other flavours so well and gives a gorgeous yellow glow to the plate. Turmeric is an all round winner when it comes to health. It’s excellent at supporting the immune system whilst being great for skeletal, joint, skin and digestive system well-being too. Cumin and coriander are great warming spices that complement our health as well as adding delicate flavours that lend themselves perfectly to Middle-Eastern type cuisine. Not only are these falafels gluten free and vegan, but they are filling, temptingly tasty and really nutritious.
Falafel serves well with hummus and salad. Here’s the conscious kitchen version (this is an adapted variation of the original conscious kitchen ‘Baked Falafel’ recipe that first appeared in my book)…
Makes: 18 balls (approx)
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
240g chickpeas (or 1 tin drained)
300g sweet potatoes
2 large cloves garlic
1 handful fresh coriander leaves
¼ teaspoon ground cardamon
1 heaped teaspoon ground turmeric (or
1 heaped tablespoon of freshly grated)
2 teaspoons heaped ground coriander
1 teaspoon heaped ground cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 heaped teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons gram flour (chickpea flour)
Extra gram flour for rolling with
You will also need:
A blender (hand/immersion or jug type) or food processor or strong potato masher
- Scrub and chop the sweet potato and boil until soft with skin still included (approximately 10 minutes). Then drain and place in a mixing bowl.
- Crush garlic and chop along with coriander leaves (as small as you can) with a sharp knife.
- Add all ingredients into blender or food processor (EXCEPT the gram flour). I find this actually works best with a hand (immersion) blender. With a hand blender, you can apply downward pressure and get in there nicely… if you use a jug blender or food processor it will work fine if you keep scraping down the sides and loosen the mixture. Alternatively you could go for the real rustic effect and use a strong potato masher to do the job instead. Blend until most of the mixture is broken down. It doesn’t need to be totally smooth; it can be quite rustic.
- Once blended add the gram flour and continue to mix in with a spoon. If you leave it on the side for a while (half and hour or half a day) then it will firm up a little making it slightly easier to roll. I sometimes let it stand if I have time, but that’s not essential.
- Chickpea moisture varies from batch to batch. The mixture should be soft and pliable, easy to roll into a ball in your hands. Take a heaped teaspoon worth of mixture and roll a small ball (this should be smaller than a golf ball). The delightful yellowness glow of the turmeric will rub off a bit on your hands. If you’d rather now yellow-out your hands then use extra gram flour to roll with. If your mixture is too soft to roll well, then add a little extra gram flour or use gram flour to roll in.
- Place on a lightly oiled baking tray and bake in preheated oven at gas mark 6 or 7 (200˚C to 220˚C) for approximately 30 minutes or until tanned.
This recipe was originally published on Trinity’s blog, TrinitysKitchen.com.