This recipe for Baked Falafel Patties with Yogurt-Tahini Sauce brings back memories of 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; 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.)
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.
(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.
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, although chickpeas are a limited food. For phase 2 or 3, you could serve inside 100% whole wheat pita bread.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.
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 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.