Baked Falafel and Homemade Tzatziki
Happy Friday everyone! I am so glad this week is over! Now I can finally catch up on some sleep (and cleaning!). 🙂
After our incredibly warm and filling meal last night I wanted something lighter. On Kath’s blog the other day she made hummus, and it got me craving. I love hummus, and chickpeas! But alas, the process of making hummus and I don’t get along. I have tried so. many. times. I just never got it “right”. The tahini would be overpowering, or the texture would be grainy, or I would try to scrape down the sides of my blender with a wooden spoon as it was processing and end up with wood-flavored hummus. Yes, I still kept the spoon. I knew that I did not want to venture down the “Sophie tries to make hummus” route when I actually wanted to make a decent meal, so I decided to concoct my second favorite chickpea recipe: falafel.
I love falafel because it is a great gluten-free fast food. And I can’t get enough of middle eastern spices, and baba ganoush, and stuffed grape leaves, and…you get the idea 🙂 I was surprised to realize that I had never tried to make it myself! Maybe it is a subconscious fear of cooking with chickpeas. The one issue I have with the crispy, chickpea goodness is that it is deep fried, but with a little research I found a bunch of baked falafel recipes, melded them together, and created my own.
Baked Falafel with Homemade Tzatziki
2 12oz cans of chickpeas
4 tablespoons of fine breadcrumbs (or process some gluten free bread in the food processor)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 an onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried basil or parsley (or use fresh)
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon baking powder
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400*
Drain and rinse the chickpeas, and either mash them or process them in your food processor until smooth. Put in a bowl.
Finely chop the onion or process in the processor and add to the chickpea mix.
Add the breadcrumbs, garlic powder, dried or fresh herbs, cumin, and baking powder. Stir until mixed well.
Spray a shallow pan with cooking spray and put in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove carefully.
Make ping pong sized balls with your falafel mixture and put onto the hot tray. This made about 30 for me. Put the tray in the oven. After 20 minutes, turn the falafels carefully; they should be golden brown on the size facing the bottom of the pan. Every 5 minutes, continue turning until they are golden and crispy on all sides.
1 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1/2 cucumber, peeled
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon white vinegar (I used cider vinegar)
Grate half of the cucumber into the yogurt or sour cream and mix together. Finely chop the second half and mix in, along with the lemon juice and vinegar. Put in the fridge to set.
A good falafel always needs friends!
I served these with a chopped salad with tomato, raisins, and shredded carrots and my basic salad dressing.
These falafels were delicious! They were light, yet satisfying, and I much preferred them baked instead of fried. Though waiting for them to get to the perfect crispness was torture…I just wanted to gobble them up! If you are patient enough to keep turning them for a while they crisp up so nicely on the outside, while remaining warm and moist in the middle. I would love to make these as part of a Middle Eastern dinner party! Z loved them too, and ate a giant pile of them! Ending the putting some in a tortilla the good old fashioned way 🙂 I highly recommend these addictive little beauties…just make sure you put them away when dinner is done, or you will find yourself snacking on one, two…oh wait, where did they all go?!
Does anyone have fun plans this weekend?