- This baked falafel balls recipe is healthy and deliciously Mediterranean. -
I have a love affair with falafel, but I’m trying to cut back on the fried foods. To make them healthier I decided to bake them, which, if done right, will still give you a nice crunchy ball that’s tender inside.
I pilfered this recipe from Sooo Good, and made a few modifications. Enjoy these spicy bad boys in pita bread with chopped tomatoes, cucumber slices, and a yogurt sauce of your choice. Seriously, your baked falafel balls will be so good you won’t care that they’re not fried.
This recipe takes several hours to complete, or as long as overnight if you are using dried chickpeas. Plan ahead!
- 1 cup dry chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans)
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 5 cloves of garlic
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 6 tablespoons flour (I used brown rice flour)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
- Hot pepper flakes to taste
- Oil for brushing
- First, soak the chickpeas in plenty of water overnight. If you haven’t got the time, use canned chickpeas (for this recipe one 15-oz can, drained, should do).
- Toast cumin and coriander by heating them in a dry pan about two minutes, until they become fragrant, being sure to shake them around a bit as they warm. Once toasted, grind in a coffee mill and set aside.
- In a food processor, finely chop the onions, garlic, parsley and cilantro. If your food processor is large, you can then add the chickpeas as well. Otherwise, mash the chickpeas up in a large bowl and then throw in the onion/herb mixture. Add salt, cumin, and coriander, then ½ teaspoon hot pepper flakes, or more if you like it really spicy. Finally, mix in the flour and baking powder, which will make the mix into more of a dough. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 3 hours (this is important).
- After waiting 3 hours, preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a large cookie sheet with parchment. Remove dough from refrigerator and form patties by using two tablespoons to make a ball, then use your hands to pack them together a bit. Place balls on parchment about an inch apart, gently patting them down to flatten them slightly so they cook faster (and don’t roll around!). Brush balls lightly with oil to help the crisp up on the outside.
- Bake at 450 for about 30 minutes, longer if you like them darker. They should be crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.