Baked Carrot & Chickpea Falafel
Falafel are a staple in a traditional Egyptian breakfast, and are gaining some pretty serious global recognition - and not without reason! Fragrant, green, crispy, and deep-fried awesomeness made of fava or broad beans and fresh greens and dried coriander and garlic and just exploding with flavor! But - you just read it - they're DEEP FRIED. If you have an sensitive gut, IBS, or are counting your calories, you know this combination of beans and oil are basically going to bloat you from here to kingdom come. Well... the good news is that now you can have your falafel and eat them too - BAKED in the oven, not fried, minus the beans, minus the oil, and minus the effort that goes into making traditional falafel. This recipe also has the option of being gluten-free, so there you have it! I've covered your concerns and I'm even going to go as far as to say you can have as many as you want, guiltlessly.
Stuff half a pita with these orange-colored patties, and add chopped tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and pickled cucumbers or turnips. Drizzle with some green tahini and dig right in... or eat them hot and golden straight from the oven. They also keep pretty well for up to 4 days in the fridge - though they'll be flatter and softer, but still so very good.
3 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
¼ cup water
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon dried onion shreds (or 1 teaspoon onion powder)
1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ cup flour*
Start with the carrots - blend them until chopped. Throw the rest of the ingredients, except flour, into the blender and blend until smooth
Spoon your batter into a large bowl, and add ½ cup of flour. Mix with a spatula until incorporated. It should resemble a moist, rough, and airy batter.
Cover bowl with a towel and leave to stand for 30 minutes
While falafel mixture is standing, pre-heat the oven to 220.C, and line a large baking tray with foil, and grease (a wad of oil or non-stick spray is fine)
With a tablespoon (or an ice-cream scoop), scoop a heaped spoon of the batter onto your tray, roughly patting them into disks, about an inch apart.
Pop your tray in the oven for 20-25 minutes. The falafel patties will seem cracked on the upside (a little like ginger cookies!) but they'll be golden on the underside. Switch on the broiler for about 5 minutes to cook and gold the upside further.
Remove tray from the oven, and leave to cool for about 10 minutes before moving them to a presentation dish.
* You can go for the good old all-purpose flour, or use wholemeal or oat flour as an alternative. For a gluten-free alternative, you can always opt for chick-pea flour.