Falafel is one of our favorite Middle Eastern snacks, so once we had homemade pita, it seemed natural to progress to homemade falafel! We weren't in the mood for deep-frying, so we hunted around for recipes that bake the falafel in the oven. This one from the blog Chow Vegan really hit the spot!
First, here's the recipe:
• Baked Falafel from Chow Vegan
If you're new to making falafel (as we are), this is a good recipe to start with. It is made simply with canned garbanzo beans that you mash with a fork and then mix with a few other basic ingredients. It took us all of five minutes to make the raw falafel and get it in the oven.
To get a little extra crispiness on these baked falafel, you form the balls and then press them into patties against the baking sheet. The bits that are in direct contact with the baking sheet get really toasty and golden. We were a little nervous that the falafel would fall apart when we flipped them, but as long as we were gentle, they held together very well.
The baked falafel got two thumbs up from our dinner crowd. The outside of the falafel had a toasty crunch while the insides were creamy and warm. They were well-seasoned, but the nutty flavor of the chickpeas still shone through. With a little tzatziki sauce and folded into a fresh chewy pita, this meal was out of this world!
If you like your falafel really crunchy, try rolling the chick pea balls in panko bread crumbs before patting them flat and baking them. We'd also recommend making slightly larger falafel than the recipe mentions to get a good ratio of crunchy outside to soft inside.
We'd also like to try making these on the stove top for a quick summer meal when we don't want to turn on the oven. We think a very thin film of olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat with a few minutes on each side should do the trick quite nicely.
Have you cooked falafel at home? Any other pointers?
Related: Turkish Doner Kebabs in Germany
(Images: Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)