If you want a version of falafel that's lighter in fat and just as flavorful, this baked falafel recipe is about to become your new go-to. Falafel is a classic vegetarian Middle Eastern recipe, made from a base of either chickpeas or fava beans, depending on the region. But while most versions of falafel are deep-fried and can be a bit heavy, it's just as easy to make a baked version that's equally delicious.
Unlike many dishes, which start with cooked legumes, falafel is made with dried legumes that have been soaked, in this case, chickpeas. Be sure to soak your organic chickpeas the night before so that they plump up nicely before you blend them.
The combination of chickpeas, parsley, garlic, salt, and avocado oil needs to be blended before you can form the patties. While you can do this in a food processor, I actually use a handy immersion blender. Not only is it less mess, but I like the chunkier texture you can get from this method.
Baked Chickpea Falafel Recipe with Yogurt Sauce
Makes 12 patties
9 ounces dried organic chickpeas, soaked in twice their volume of water overnight
½ bunch organic parsley
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 tablespoon flaked sea salt
1 tablespoon Thai fried garlic (or 2 cloves roasted garlic)
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon minced chives
1/4 red onion, minced
black pepper and flaked sea salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the chickpeas, parsley, avocado oil, salt, and garlic in a food processor or in an immersion blender until you have a thick, slightly textured paste. You may need to add water to get the blades to turn, but keep the dough as dry as possible.
Use your hands to make 12 patties, forming them between your palms. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the patties are golden brown and firm.
While the patties bake, make the yogurt sauce. Combine the yogurt, chives, and onion, and season with salt and pepper.
These falafel patties are delicious served with a cucumber and tomato salad, hummus, or fresh pita bread.
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Lead falafel image via Shutterstock; all other images Emily Monaco