Over the years, I attempted to master baked falafel. Unfortunately, I failed at every last attempt. In fact, many times I resorted to throwing it away because it was dry or tasteless.
Recently, I decided to try something different. Instead of using canned chickpeas, I opted for dried chickpeas. A Lebanese man, who owns a local restaurant, told me the secret to perfect falafel. Of course, his first secret is he fries his falafel. But, his other little secret is using uncooked, dried chickpeas. I never considered not cooking the chickpeas.
HOW TO SOAK DRY GARBANZO BEANS FOR BAKED FALAFEL
I buy my beans, legumes, and chickpeas on Amazon in bulk. They are cheaper and store well. In fact, buying food like this (especially if you are an Amazon Prime member) is great, because there isn’t any shipping cost, and it arrives in a day.
First of all, dried chickpeas absorb a lot of water. I cup of dried chickpeas, for instance, will expand 3 times its size, yielding 3 cups of chickpeas. So, when soaking chickpeas, always use a bowl three times the size and add 3 times the amount of water to cover the chickpeas. Then, soak the chickpeas overnight.
The trick, however, is you don’t ever cook the chickpeas for baked falafel. Instead, the chickpeas are drained and then rinsed a second time, prior to making the falafel dough.
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN BAKED FALAFEL RECIPE?
- 2 cups dry chickpeas or garbanzo beans; soaked overnight
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped dill
- 5 cloves, minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon juice
- 2 1/2 Tablespoon chickpea flour (or flour of choice)
- 2 Tablespoons Tahini
HOW TO MAKE THE BAKED FALAL DOUGH…
Once the soaked chickpeas are soaked and rinsed, it’s time to make the baked falafel dough. First, you need to use a food processor to grind the chickpeas and make the falafel dough. Next, you simply add all the ingredients to the ground chickpeas and process on high until you achieve a grainy dough.
As a result, you will have a falafel dough which looks similar to this. Then, I use a melon baller or small cookie scoop to form my falafel balls.
HOW TO COOKED BAKED FALAFEL IN THE OVEN…A LITTLE HELPFUL TRICK
In order to make oil-free falafel, that tastes great, there are a few other tricks. I used a mini muffin pan to cook the falafel. This allows for the falafel balls to cook evenly without rolling around on your pan. The other trick is how the falafel mixture is made. You need to pulse the mixture in the food processor. And, it is necessary to refrigerate the mixture for 1 hour to have it set up prior to cooking.
USES FOR BAKED FALAFEL RECIPE AND HOW TO STORE AND FREEZE
Baked falafel, for instance, can be made ahead of time and will store cooked int eh refrigerator for 5 days. But, you can also freeze baked falafel. For instance, I suggest you place the mini muffin pan, covered, in the freezer, for 1 hour.
Once flash frozen, you can transfer the baked falafel balls into a freezer bag. As a result, the falafel will be separated and not stick together. When you want to reheat the baked falafel, simply choose the amount you want from the bag and reheat in a microwave for 30-45 seconds.
Although I chose to use the baked falafel for a salad with tahini dressing, there are a variety of ways to use baked falafel.
- Place inside a pita with veggies
- Make a Mediterranean wrap
- Add to Mediterranean Couscous Salad
- Use as a topping for Mediterranean Salad
- Serve with veggies, hummus, and tahini as a snack
- Use with a Vegan Mediterranean Party Platter
- A topping for a Tabouli Salad
- Add to a Skinny Greek Wrap Sandwich
- Or, possible out on top of a Skinny Greek Veggie Pasta Salad
However, you decide to use baked falafel, it adds a GREAT protein-rich baked option for your favorite Mediterranean dishes.
For a gluten-free option, use chickpea or almond flour. Although I made a salad with my falafel, you may make a wrap or you may eat the falafel as it is. Although I prefer my falafel hot, it is just as good cold.
The sauce also has options for making it spicy, or mild. You choose the degree of spice based on the amount of Paprika you use in the dressing.
Regardless of your choices, the baked falafel is low in fat and the closet thing I’ve eaten to the real McCoy.