I am what you might call *slightly* obsessed with falafel. I’ve had a thing for it ever since I went vegetarian and discovered it was nothing short of way-super-delicious. Even though I’ve got a foot back in the land of meat-eater-ness, I prefer to eat meat-free a lot (if not most) of the time. Especially when falafel is on the menu. Because YUM.
The problem, though? Falafel is deep fried. In a bunch of oil. Delicious, yes. Super greasy? Also yes. So in the interest of
swimsuit season health, I decided a grease-less alternative was in order.
A mini-muffin pan proved to be just the thing – just scoop some falafel mix and bake it on super high heat to crisp up all the sides, and EUREKA! Welcome to baked falafeltown. I felt like a super detective who just solved the world’s greatest, most intriguing mystery, which is probably attributable to the Veronica Mars binge I’ve been on ever since they announced a Kickstarter campaign to fund the long awaited VMars movie. WHICH, by the way, I am SO.TOTALLY.STOKED.FOR. My roommates and I developed a full-on Veronica Mars obsession in college, and we still make a point to watch the whole series once every year or two. I’m PROBABLY going to turn on another episode as soon as I’m done writing this. And it, like these falafel, is going to be excellent.
- 1 16-oz bag of dry chickpeas
- ½ large yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley
- ⅓ cup fresh cilantro
- 4 cloves garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoons paprika
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- Put chick peas in a large bowl and fill with water; enough to cover the chick peas. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- After the chick peas have soaked overnight, drain them and place in a large food processor with all remaining ingredients. Process until all ingredients have combined to form a thick paste. The mixture should stick together when you pinch some together with your fingers. If it’s too coarse, add a bit of water or olive oil until the mixture holds together. Too runny? Add a bit more flour!
- Using a spoon or a small cookie scoop, scoop some falafel mixture into a greased mini-muffin tin. I like the mini-muffin size because they fit more easily into a pita pocket, but a regular muffin tin would work just fine.
- Brush the top of each falafel scoop with olive oil (or spray with some cooking spray) and place on the top shelf of a 475 degree oven (the super hot temperature will help them get super crispy!) and bake 15-25 minutes or until falafel have browned and crisped up nicely.
- Dip falafel in a sauce of choice or stuff 3 or 4 falafel in a pita pocket with greek yogurt, lettuce and tomato (I LOVE this falafel in a pita!)
- Refrigerate any leftover falafel mixture for up to a week. Pop it in the oven anytime for a quick lunch or dinner!