Falafel are one of our favourite, healthy meat-free foods, and are easy to make at home. To the usual chickpea base we’ve added sweet potato, which gives a lighter, fluffier result, plus healthy brownie points thanks to the potato’s high vitamin and fibre content. Win win win.
We experimented with canned chickpeas, for ease, but while the resulting falafel were tasty and more than edible, they were a bit on the crumbly side. So it’s worth the small effort of soaking dried ones overnight in cold water, as we’ve suggested below, to give a better texture.
Serve these baked bites with salad, hummus, bulgur wheat, or with good quality pitta or flatbreads. Great for dinner or lunchboxes – serve hot or cold.
Makes 12 small falafel
You will need:
- 100g (1/2 cup) chickpeas, soaked in a large bowl of cold water overnight
- 1 medium sweet potato, unpeeled
- 1/2 onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- Small handful of fresh coriander or parsley
- Squeeze lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and grease a baking tray. Rinse the chickpeas in fresh water.
- Cook the sweet potato on full power in a microwave for about 6 minutes (turning half way) until soft. Put to one side and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, finely chop the onion and garlic, and place in a bowl with the remaining ingredients. Mix well.
- Carefully peel the skin away from the cooled sweet potato and place the flesh in the bowl with the other ingredients. Add the chickpeas and give everything a rough blitz with a hand blender or food processor until the mixture is just coarsely blended. You don’t want it to be too processed – it should be lumpy with chickpeas. You could also do this stage with a potato masher.
- Shape the mixture into 12 balls and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, turning half way, until brown all over.
Try rolling the falafel in sesame seeds before baking for extra crunch.
See more Main Meals recipes