Falafel is usually deep fried, but these baked falafel are cooked in the oven for a low fat (and easier) option.
It is often thought that falafel originated in Egypt but the exact origin is unknown. Wherever they originated they have become a traditional Arab food and are eaten throughout the Middle East. In recent years they have gained much popularity all over Europe too.
They may be low in fat but are definitely not low in flavour. Falafel are made from chick peas pureed with the addition of other flavourings including onions, garlic and spices. They can be eaten hot or cold and I particularly like them warm in a wrap for a tasty lunch, or alongside some Turkish meze.
I think they need a little sauce of some kind to counteract the dryness. Here I have served them with a simple tahini sauce which adds a delicious tangy flavour to them. Tahini is made from ground sesame seeds and can be found in ethnic stores and larger supermarkets. Falafel are also nice served with some tzatziki. Try my Really Easy Tzatziki or a dollop of greek yogurt would also suffice.
A little salad and some homemade really easy flatbreads completes the dish.
- low fat
- family favourite
- 1½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1½ tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic crushed
- 400 g can chick peas rinsed and drained
- handful of flat leaf parsley leaves chopped about 4 tbsp
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg beaten
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 small clove garlic crushed
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 - 2 tbsp water
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC (180ºC) /400ºF/gas 5. Place the seeds in a heavy based frying pan and dry fry a minute or 2, until lightly toasted and the aromas are beginning to be released. Tip into a pestle and mortar and grind to a powder.
- Heat the oil in the frying pan and fry the onion for about 5 minutes until until softened. Add the garlic and fry for further 1 minute. Remove from the heat
- Place the chick peas, cooked onion, garlic, parsley and crushed seeds in a food processor, season with salt and pepper along with half of the beaten egg.
- Process to form a smooth puree adding a little more egg if required to bind the mixture together.
- Form the mixture into 2 balls about the size of a walnut. Flatten slightly and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
- Brush the tops lightly with a little more oil then bake for 15 to 20 minutes until piping hot.
To make the tahini sauce
- Meanwhile, mix together the tahini, garlic, lemon juice and water to form a runny sauce and season with salt and pepper.
- Serve the falafel with the tahini sauce drizzled over.
- I have used a little egg to bind the mixture together but you can use about 2 tbsp of water instead although I find this makes them rather fragile.
- To get more colour bake on a heavy non stick baking sheet. You can carefully turn them over about half way through the cooking time to get more colour on the top. I use a palette knife for this.
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