Saturday, August 02, 2008

Recipe for Baked Falafel Patties with Yogurt-Tahini Sauce

Baked Falafel Patties with a delicious Yogurt-Tahini Sauce
Baked Falafel Patties with a delicious Yogurt-Tahini Sauce.

I vividly remember years ago when a Mediterranean restaurant opened in Salt Lake City and I had my first taste of Falafel. The traditional round balls of deep-fried Falafel at the restaurant were served inside pita bread, with a yogurt-tahini sauce on the side. The restaurant called it Falafel Sandwich, maybe to accommodate the Utah crowd who wasn't familiar with this type of food. Now Salt Lake has a number of restaurants that serve Falafel, and I love to order it.

So, Thank You Very Much to a reader named Jamie, who sent me this Falafel recipe from Epicurious.com, because I was immediately interested in trying it. Jamie said she thought falafel might be South Beach Diet friendly, and when she searched to see if I had a recipe for it, she saw a comment where I said I hadn't tried making it yet. Back in the old days I had no idea that Falafel was made from chickpeas, but the fact that they're made with one of my favorite low-glycemic foods was only part of the reason I loved this recipe, made even more healthy by using whole wheat flour and baking the Falafel patties. I loved the flavor of this, and I tried it out on my neighbors Todd and Michelle, who also gave it a big thumbs-up!


Soak dried chickpeas for eight hours or overnight is even better. Be sure to plan for the expanding of the chickpeas as they soak up the liquid; my bowl was nearly too small!

Drain chickpeas well, then put in food processor with chopped onion, chopped parsley, chopped cilantro, salt, garlic, and cumin.

Using steel blade, pulse the mixture until it is well-chopped and blended, but not completely pureed together. Then sprinkle in baking powder and flour and pulse a few more times until those ingredients are mixed in. Test to see if a ball of the mixture sticks together, and if not you may need a bit more flour.

Remove the mixture to a plastic bowl with a tight-fitting lid and chill several hours. (I actually chilled it overnight and baked the Falafel the next day.)

When ready to bake, form mixture into thin patties, pressing together well with your hands. I made 12 patties from the amount in this recipe, and decided three patties is about one serving. Bake at 400F, turning once, until Falafel is lightly browned on both sides (about 22-26 minutes.) Serve warm, with yogurt-tahini sauce if desired.

Baked Falafel Patties with Yogurt-Tahini Sauce
(Makes 12 Falafel patties and 1 cup of Yogurt-Tahini Sauce. Falafel recipe from The Foods of Israel Today, found on Epicurious.com by a reader named Jamie, and slightly adapted by Kalyn. Yogurt-Tahini Sauce found in Falafel Bliss at One Hot Stove, who got it from pastagirl9, a reviewer on Epicurious.)

Falafel:
1 cup dried chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans)
1 cup chopped onion
4 T chopped parsley (original recipe called for 2 T)
4 T chopped cilantro (original recipe called for 2 T)
1 tsp. salt
4 cloves minced garlic (about 2 tsp.)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. baking powder
4 T whole wheat flour (or more, if the balls don't stick together well enough)
olive oil, for spraying baking sheet

Soak dried chickpeas in cold water for at least 8 hours, or over night. After chickpeas are well-softened, drain well.

Put chickpeas, onion, parsley, cilantro, salt, garlic, and cumin into bowl of a food processor with the steel blade attached. Pulse until mixture is well-chopped and combined, but not pureed together. Sprinkle over baking powder and flour and pulse a few more times to combine. Test one ball to see if mixture holds together, and if not add more flour until it does. (I didn't need to add more flour.) Put mixture into a plastic bowl with a tight-fitting lid and chill several hours or overnight.

When ready to bake Falafel, preheat oven or toaster oven to 400F. (I sprayed the baking sheet with olive oil and preheated the pan too, to get the outside of the Falafel extra crisp.)

Shape the mixture into 12 balls, pressing each one flat with your hands and forming into a patty not quite 1/2 inch thick. Put patties on pan and bake until lightly browned and cooked through. (Jamie baked them about 22 minutes; I was using a toaster oven and baked mine about 26 minutes, turning after 13 minutes.) Serve warm, with Yogurt-Tahini sauce if desired. Falafel is often served with Middle Eastern Tomato Salad.

Yogurt-Tahini Sauce
(I adapted the sauce recipe slightly so it had more yogurt and less tahini, but make it to your own taste.)
2/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt (I used my favorite Greek yogurt)
1/3 cup Tahini Sauce (sold in Middle Eastern stores or health food stores, usually near the peanut butter)
2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
salt to taste
2-3 T water to thin sauce if desired
(I sprinkled the sauce with a little sumac, purely optional)

Using a whisk or mini-processor, combine ingredients. Add water as desired until it's as thin as you prefer. (I added about 2 T of water.) Serve with Falafel patties.

Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
These Falafel patties with the Yogurt-Tahini sauce and Middle Eastern Tomato Salad would be a great choice for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet, or suitable for any low-glycemic eating plan. You could use almond meal instead of flour to make them phase one. For phase 2 or 3, you could serve inside 100% whole wheat pita bread.

More Bloggers who Made Falafel:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients. I focused on recipes that started with dried chickpeas.)
Falafel Bliss from One Hot Stove (The same recipe from Epicurious, but Nupur made fried balls.)
Falafel Me, Please from What Geeks Eat (The same recipe from Epicurious, but Vanessa adapted it slightly.)
Falafel from Bitten (by Mark Bittman)
Falafel with Tzatziki Sauce from To Be Mrs. Marv
Falafel from Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska
Fantastic Falafels from Green Gourmet Giraffe
An Easy Falafel Recipe from The Hummus Blog
My First Falafel from Iron Stef
Oven-Baked Falafel from Baking Bites
Homemade Falafel from Blazing Hot Wok

Want even more Falafel recipes?
I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.
counter customizable free hit

64 comments:

  1. After living for so long in the Middle Eastern countries falafel has become almost home food for me. But never have I had a baked falafel before! Thank you Kalyn for the idea - my hips are hugging you ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love that these are baked instead of fried. A little healthier and a lot easier on my stomach! They look delicious too!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Kalyn, LOVE this ... and really glad to see that you soak your chickpeas - I once got a horrid comment from someone when I suggested that soaking/cooking chickpeas was an easy, do-able option, at least sometimes ... so sad that people are hostile to the idea of cooking, when - as you regularly demonstrate - it's such a fundamental part of a healthy life

    Joanna

    ReplyDelete
  4. Falafel is such a great recipe. This would be good as lunch, dinner, or a snack! We can't do wheat flour, but I think I could find a substitute like chick pea flour. Love the greek yogurt in the tahini sauce, too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a fantastic idea to bake them. I've been eating a lot of falafel in restaurants lately and am feeling v inspired to cook them at home.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your falafel discs look absolutely scrumptious, Kalyn! It looks like the perfect summer meal.
    I read your comment about this on my blog; how funny that we found our own ways to this same recipe. It goes to show that this is a real "keeper", I suppose :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. So you just soak the chickpeas, they aren't cooked beforehand? How easy is that! Your reader has you pegged, Kalyn!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am a huge fan of falafels.used to eat them every time in paris for the weekend. I loved the fact that yous are baked as opposed to fried. Getting a fan.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is my kind of food! I absolutely love the yogurt tahini sauce... I am going to try that soon!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. i am SO excited! I couldn't bring myself to fry them, and so this looks just about perfect. how marvelous!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Those look good and they would go well with the yogurt tahini sauce!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love the idea of making this from scratch instead of buying it in a box (which also tastes good). I'm amazed you don't have to boil the beans. I have had mixed results with pinto beans. Even after soaking and boiling, they come out hard. I have had much better luck with the quick soak method http://www.specialflavors.com/
    collection/dried%20beans/beanmethod.htm
    I've never cooked garbanzos from dried. Do they need less cooking time than pintos? Why do you chill it before shaping and baking them? Is this step required?
    Cooking beans from dried is far more economical and uses less packaging. It's hard for me to plan ahead. This recipe looks like it takes 2 days to prepare.

    ReplyDelete
  13. My husband spent a semester in Israel before we met and introduced me to falafel. We've only ever bought the boxed mix and made them, but I can't wait to try this recipe. Looks so good and I love that they are baked! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love that this is baked and not fried. If you kept them in balls instead of forming patties, would you have to bake them longer?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for the nice comments everyone. I was completely smitten with this recipe when I made it and so was Nupur. I was quite intrigued by the fact that the chickpeas are baked raw, and personally I don't think making this with canned chickpeas would give even close to the same result.

    Valerieanne, the recipe doesn't need to take two days, that's just how I did it. You need 8 hours to soak the beans and a few hours for chilling, so that could easily be done in one day. Or you could soak overnight and chill and bake the next day, which is what I'd do next time.

    I chilled the bean mixture because it was recommended by the person who created the recipe. I have no idea how it would work if you didn't do that, but I'm guessing it wouldn't stay together as well.

    Nate-n-Annie, I honestly am not sure how it would work to bake the mixture in a ball shape, but just guessing I'd say it would be hard to get the inside completely cooked. You could try it and see, and if you do, please let us know how it works.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I first tasted falafel when I was 13 and spending a summer on a kibbutz in Israel. I fell in love with it on first bite. Now I love to serve it with tahini sauce, chopped lettuce and tomato, in an oat-bran pita.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great! I've been looking for a baked falafel recipe because of our aversion to frying. Not health issues, just laziness. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I just found your blog via another and can tell I'm going to love it! This recipe for falafel looks really interesting as I too like the idea of baking it.

    Nice to meet you :-)

    ReplyDelete
  19. i adore falafel, but i have a great fear of deep frying. thanks for helping me meet my weekly quota for falafel consumption--i'll bet homemade is better than what i'm used to, and now i'll get to see for sure. :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. one more question! do they freeze, and if so, do I freeze before or after baking? I am so excited to make these.

    ReplyDelete
  21. What a great recipe! I love falafel. I look forward to looking through your other recipes. I just noticed you were in Woman's World before; so was I...small little world with so many good recipes :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Cheryl, I have no idea if they can be frozen. I can't think of why not. I would freeze them before you bake them, then thaw and bake if it was me.

    If you try it, let us know how it works.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Kalyn, I love that this is a way to get my falafel fix by baking them. Yum! I'm definitely going to have to give this a try -- just need to get my hands on some dry chickpeas.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I just read all the reviews of the recipe on Epicurious, and one reviewer said she does freeze the uncooked mixture, then thaws and cooks it later.

    There were also some people who said they use chickpea flour instead of flour, which would make this gluten free (I think?) and also make it phase one for South Beach. If anyone tries that, love to know how it works.

    ReplyDelete
  25. What a great idea to bake instead of fry... I'll definitely be adding this to my list of must-try recipes!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I love falafel! I'm now on a quest for dry chick peas and tahini.

    For me, a whole wheat pita, lettuce, falafel, tahini and a little hot sauce -- YUM.

    Glad I found this blog -- new recipes and food ideas keep every day just a bit more exciting!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Yes! Falafel!! And I'm thrilled to find a baked recipe as I hardly ever make anything that needs frying. And yes, using chickpea flour woudl make this gluten-free. I've just had a gluten-free vegetarian friend staying over here in London and she had some fantastic chickpea flour, gluten gree falafel at a health shop in Greenwich Market - too yummy!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I am so making these, Kalyn - I love falafel and have been trying to avoid deep fried food.
    Tks!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I love falafels. I have made them several times but find they fall apart a bit when fried. I love that you baked them, I will have to give that a try. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I'm making this right now, and am a little apprehensive, as mine didn't form nice round patties like yours did. I wonder if I should have added more flour. I hope they turn out!!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Georgia, I would add more flour until it sticks together pretty well. Did you chill it? That might make a difference.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thanks Kalyn..they turned out perfectly! I actually served them with leftover Asian Slaw from your blog last week, and although it's a strange combination it was delicious. I'll definitely make these again!!

    ReplyDelete
  33. These look scrumptious..thanks for de-fattening one of my favourite snacks:)

    ReplyDelete
  34. these look absolutely delicious! i'm starting to understand that a food processor is a must in any cook's kitchen...as a recent grad, my kitchen isn't even big enough for one of these, but one day!
    this recipe might just be enough to get me to overtake my mother's kitchen...

    thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Anastasia DyakovskayaAugust 6, 2008 at 8:47 PM

    these look absolutely delicious! i'm starting to understand that a food processor is a must in any cook's kitchen...as a recent grad, my kitchen isn't even big enough for one of these, but one day!
    this recipe might just be enough to get me to overtake my mother's kitchen...

    thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Even though I soaked the chickpeas for about 15 hrs., they were still hard. Here's a tip found over at nupur's site I wish I had seen beforehand: To check is the chickpeas are soaked all the way through, cut one open. If the color is even, without a chalky center, then it is fully soaked.

    ReplyDelete
  37. These were delicious! The sauce really complements the falafel.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Susan, so glad you liked it. Hmmm, I need to make this again myself!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I just tried this recipe and it turned out great! I used pinto beans because I had heard that you could use either and it still tasted great! I posted about it here: http://vintagemixer.blogspot.com/2009/04/falafel-and-homemade-tzatziki.html

    ReplyDelete
  40. Becky, love the idea of Falafel made with pinto beans. Going to check your version now, thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  41. This was my first phase two dinner and it was fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  42. The Smiths by my house doesn't carry dried garbanzos (grrr), so I used canned...hope it turns out ok! I found a conversion on the California Dry Bean Board website (http://www.calbeans.com/beanbasics.html). One cup of dried beans equals about 2 1/2 cups soaked. I also decreased the salt since canned already have salt. They're chillin' right now, so we'll see how they turn out :)

    ReplyDelete
  43. Annie, you will have to tell us how they turn out.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I made these with canned garbanzo beans because the commissary here on base doesn't have dry garbanzos. They turned out wonderful! I mean, this was absolutely delicious. Better than most falafels I've had in restaurants. Double thumbs up!!!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Amy, so glad to hear you liked it, and good to know it works with canned garbanzos too.

    ReplyDelete
  46. This is by far the best website I have seen for recipes to go along with the South Beach Diet. What great ideas!!!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Traci, thanks. I do work hard on it.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I make a baked falafel but I soak and cook my chickpeas first and don't use any flour in them. I think I'm going to try this version (and see if it'll stick together without the flour). Thanks for the ideas =D

    ReplyDelete
  49. Mub, it's just a guess but I think the uncooked chickpeas might be more likely to need flour to stick together than your cooked ones. Love to hear how it works if you do try it without flour. I love this recipe!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Okay, you're gonna make me do it. You;re gonna make me have to buy a food processor just so I can try these. It's all your fault.

    You are far better than anyone I've seen on Food Network TV. Seriously.

    You should be on their radar, for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Whimsy, you MUST get a food processor. So many uses for it.

    (And thanks, but trust me, I have NO ambitions of being on TV at all!)

    ReplyDelete
  52. Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

    ReplyDelete
  53. I cook mine in my crockpot 2-5 hours and they are usually done in 3. It's crazy how science works but they brown on all sides and it if it is hot outside your kitchen doesn't heat up.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Fun to hear that it worked to cook this in a crockpot.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Hi Kalyn, I came across your blog today while searching for baked falafel recipe. I would like to link your recipe to my blog if you don't mind.

    Thanking you in advance
    Hanim

    ReplyDelete
  56. Karimhanin, sure, you are always welcome to link to the recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I've been using this recipe for years and I lost track of your website. Today after making them, I was searching for a Falafel sauce and here you are again! I can't believe it, my family and I love these baked falafels!!!! Since we are gluten free now, we just omit the flour or use tapioca flour. Comes out the same just a little better you and we also put them in a silicon muffin mold, this way they all come out the same size.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Glad you found the recipe again. And I LOVE the idea of using a silicone muffin pan to shape and cook them!

    ReplyDelete
  59. Hello everyone! I know it is a rather old post but here is a tip you're going to thank me for:

    There is no need for flour at all: if you want the mixture to hold itself without breaking apart, simply add one to three tablespoons of sesame paste (preferably made of whole sesame seeds). It will add a bit of fat (good fat!) but will also enhance both taste and texture.

    Another tip: try to add one small, peeled raw sweet potato to the food processor's bowl. It gives it an incredible twist. I like to also add one to two green chili peppers, without the seeds. And never be stingy with coriander! Hope this helps to make this wonderful recipe even more rich and scrumptious :)

    ReplyDelete
  60. Like a previous poster, I used canned chickpeas. Other than this pretty big deviation, I followed your recipe for the patties word for word. Boy, did we enjoy them!Thanks a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Well I am pretty happy to hear it works with canned chickpeas, as I'm guessing that will be easier for most people. Thanks for reporting that!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for joining the conversation! I love hearing from readers and even though I can't always reply to every comment, I will always answer specific questions on a recipe as soon as possible.

Comments don't appear on the blog until they're approved by me, so no need to try again if you don't see it! Feel free make your signature a link to your site if you're a blogger, but links posted within the body of the comment will never be published.

Blogging tips