Sunday, December 20, 2009

No-Feel-Awful Falafel

These baked falafel patties will have you gloating, not bloating.
Sure, deep-fried falafel is tasty, but afterwards you’re stuck with that pesky self-loathing. With this healthy version, all you’ll gain is a wholesomer-than-thou attitude.
This divine interpretation came after reading a variety of recipes and then tweaking Joan Nathan's My Favorite Falafel to match my vision. When it's baked, you can really taste the herbs, spices and garlic, but the traditional kind seems to lose all that freshness in the deep fryer.
Not only is this version delish, it's nutrish. The garbanzos aren’t even cooked. All you do is soak the raw beans in water overnight, and they plump up and are ready for grinding in the food processor the next day. Add the fresh garlic, onions, parsley, cilantro, cumin and coriander, and it’s a party in your mouth. The kind where you’ll be able to look at yourself in the mirror the next morning without wishing you were Kate Moss. Well, no more than usual.


1 cup dried chickpeas
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 - 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 TBSP fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 TBSP fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
3 - 4 TBSP AP flour, GF flour or garbanzo flour (this works really well)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp olive oil

Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained.

Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, garlic, cumin, coriander and oil. Process until blended but not puréed.
Sprinkle in the baking powder and half of the flour, and pulse. Add enough flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Form the chickpea mixture into 1 1/2" balls and slightly flatten on an oiled baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes on each side until nicely browned.
Serve with pita, tahini sauce, tomatoes and cucumber.
Makes about 16 patties.


  1. These sound great but I wonder if the less appealing aspects of eating beans are ummmm.. enhanced by the soaking but not cooking the beans?
    Got to try these out soon. Just as soon as my gluten free pita breads are perfect.

  2. I have been making a similar baked falafel recipe (Mark Bittman's) all the time lately! I will try yours next. Haven't noticed any problems (or any extra problems) from the beans. You definitely don't ever cook the chickpeas for falafel. SO good, especially with Zhoug (a hot sauce made with cilantro, parsley and hot peppers)

  3. Cathy, I really like the garbanzo flour (besan). The flavor blends perfectly, and it's GF!