There is a Lebanese restaurant in town that makes the best falafel. They’re crispy crunchy on the outside and cakelike and tender inside. They’re also deep fried. Oh oh!
These falafel are lightened up by baking them and they’re quick and easy to make. The hardest part will be waiting for them to finish baking.
I love these falafel drizzled with a garlicky lemon tahini dressing and served on a bed of greens with tomatoes and avocado. Cucumber, onion and olives are other great, traditional additions. Falafel are often served inside pita bread too.
You’ll need a food processor for this recipe .
Ingredients for the falafel
1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas (one 15 oz can drained and rinsed)
2 cloves garlic
½ onion chopped roughly (it’s going in a food processor)
1 tsp cumin
1-2 tsp coriander (depending on your taste)
1/4 tsp cayenne or a few drops of hot sauce
¼ tsp smoky paprika (optional – I just love the taste it adds)
¼ cup fresh parsley
½ tsp ground pepper
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp lemon juice (about ¼ of a lemon)
1 Tbsp regular or chickpea flour (optional but helps to keep the dough thick and dry)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat your oven to 375F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
Put all your ingredients in a food processor and pulse together until you have a thick dough. You may need to scrape down the sides occasionally to get everything incorporated and you may need to add a bit of water to get everything to bind together, but you do not want an overly wet dough and it’s okay to have some lumps and bumps in your dough too (I call this aesthetic “authentic”, “homemade” and even “rustic”.).
Take about 2 tablespoons of dough in your hand and roll it into a ball. Place on the cookie sheet. You can press the ball a bit flat to make a patty or you can mark with a fork as I have done here (similar to what one does making gnocchi). The patty shape is great if you’re going to eat the falafel inside a pita.
Bake for 15 minutes then turn the balls/patties over and bake for another 10 minutes. They should have a nice golden outside and tender, moist inside.
Ingredients for the lemon-garlic tahini sauce
1/3 cup hot water
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 clove garlic minced
1 Tbsp maple syrup
Juice of half a lemon
¼ cup tahini
Mix everything together in a small glass or bowl. Whisk until well blended and spoon over the falafel.