One of my favorite things to order from a small family owned restaurant in my hometown, is their falafel. It is unbelievable good! The place is really a burger joint, but luckily for those vegetarians and vegans out there, we can enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal amongst our carnivore friends. I wanted to re-create my own version of their middle-eastern dish, so I could easily satisfy my needs when the craving struck!
Personally, I think that deep frying the falafel balls is not necessary, especially for those who have sensitive stomachs and are health conscious. I believe that baking the falafels still allows them to be crunchy on the outside and soft in the center. What I love above this meal, is that you will never get bored- you can serve the falafels over a bed of greens, in a pita, or in lettuce wraps. Also, there are so many different dressings you can use; the standard yogurt sauce, salsa, or hummus! The options are endless and are sure to please everyone that you are serving!
Makes 12-14 (depending on size)
10 sprigs of fresh cilantro*
10 sprigs of fresh parsley*
2 cups canned garbanzo beans/chickpeas
1 cup of almonds
½ small yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
5 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
3 tsp cumin
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp oat flour (or any flour your prefer)
1 tsp baking powder
*I used cilantro and parsley to flavor to the falafels, but other herbs such as mint, will work great. Also, feel free to adjust to taste.
Preheat the oven to 375 and place parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Set aside.
Blend the herbs in a mixer for about 30 seconds. Add the almonds and pulse until well combined.
Rinse the garbanzo beans. Add them and the rest of the ingredients into the mixer and blend for about a minute. Depending on the power of your food processor, you might have to occasionally stir the mixture. I started off with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and added more to "loosen" the mixture. However, you do not want the mixture/dough to become too wet. You want to be able to roll the dough into balls easily and for the dough to be somewhat rough.
Depending on the size you prefer, I made roughly 14. Try to keep the texture of the falafel dough a little rough.
Bake for about 15- 20 minutes, turning every so often to allow for even baking.
As I mentioned before, the toppings and the way you serve the falafels are endless. This can be a really fun meal allowing your dinner guests to create their own version! I often serve mine with a homemade salsa or hummus and finish off the pita wrap with lime juice, sliced radishes, and cilantro.