Monday, February 21, 2011

Baked Falafel

I spent a semester in Israel, when I was in college, and I grew a real love for falafel. I loved buying it from street vendors, who would cut the pitas with an Exacto Knife, and throw in several deep fried balls of golden deliciousness, along with chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, and a generous slather of tahini. Oh, the unhealthiness of it all... Take a perfectly innocent chickpea, and transform it into the ultimate fast food.

Fast forward to last week, when I decided to try these Baked Falafel balls, from App for Reduction. I've never cooked with chickpea flour, so I was a little intimidated, and unsure about how the outcome would be, but the result was pretty tasty. Well, actually, I had a little cold, so I'm not sure I truly got a real taste, but I really liked them, nonetheless. So, here's the thing - despite the fact that these taste flavorful, and quite delicious, they still aren't fried. So, if you go to make these, please do not expect them to taste juicy and deep fried. They don't, because they're not. That being said, they are super easy to make, and have a really full-bodied chickpea flavor, with a slightly lemony accent from the coriander, and a nice deep spice, from the hot sauce and cumin. Also, Kevin enjoyed them in a whole wheat pita, while I ate them over a salad and steamed veggies, which I loved. I'll make these again, for sure. They are a quick weeknight meal, and a nice alter

Make these. 4 bowls.

Baked Falafel

Adapted from Appetite for Reduction

1 (15 ounce) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 small onion, chopped roughly (about 3 tablespoons)
2 tsp of olive oil
2 tsp hot sauce (I like Cholula)
3 to 4 tablespoons chickpea flour
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp paprike
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 pinches of freshly ground black pepper

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Pulse chickpeas and garlic in a food processor. Add the onion, olive oil, and hot sauce, and blend until relatively smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary, to make sure you get everything.

Transfer the mix to a mixing bowl. mix in the 3 tbl of chickpea flour, cumin, coriander, paprika, baking powder, salt, and pepper. The mix should be mushy, but firm enough to shape into balls. If it doesn't seem firm enough, add a tbl of chickpea flour.

Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. From the mix into walnut-sized balls, then flatten into little patties. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 16-18 minutes; they should be browned on the underside. Remove the falafel from the oven, spray with a little more cooking spray, then flip the patties over,a nd bake for 8-10 more minutes.

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