Home made baked Falafels
Looking outside the window, watching the spring trees blossom and the birds chirp, I wonder when this self isolation will end. I want to feel the spring sun falling on me, to see the beautiful spring flowers and the freedom to do everything I want to do. Until then, I am trying to re-live last year’s spring and reminisce the best days. Just last year we discovered this quaint Mediterranean eatery in our town.
We visited this place every 2 weeks and tried every item on their menu. Their Turkish coffee and Falafel platter is my staple. So much so that the server knew my choice of drink the moment he/she saw me. This year however, I wasn’t able to go for a carefree brunch date. With all the restrictions due to covid19, it’s been really difficult to step out of the house. But I missed my Mediterranean food. So I decided to recreate the recipe and treat myself over the weekend.
I made the delicious looking baked Falafel and Turkish coffee. The recipe is simple and has very few pantry staples. I have tried to make both the fried and baked version of Falafels. Ofcourse, the fried ones turn great all the time but the baked one’s have my heart. The process of making the Falafel remains the same just the frying is replaced by baking.
I have used the regular chickpeas and soaked them overnight. But I have also tried using canned chickpeas. The canned chickpea eliminates the soaking process. How ever, you need to drain the water thoroughly in both the process. The chickpeas should not be watery.
Then the chickpeas were ground with all the ingredients below. I have used red onions, trust me, they bring a whole lot of flavor to the Falafels. Because I have baked the Falafels, I have used baking soda. If not baking, you can simply not add it.
Quick tip: Do not add salt while grinding the ingredients.
All these ingredients were ground in a mixer to a coarse texture. Make sure the texture should not be smooth but slightly grainy.
After grinding the mixture,add salt and baking soda. Gently mix everything. Freeze the mixture for 30 mins to 1 hour. This will help make the Falafels hold shape when baking or frying. After 1 hour, shape the Falafels to round and flat(If you are baking). This will ensure uniform baking. If you are not baking but frying them, just make round balls.
Line a baking pan with baking sheet. Grease the sheet with cooking spray and then place the Falafels on top of it.
Bake these Falafels in the oven at 400F for 20 mins. You need to turn these Falafels halfway through the baking process for even cooking. If you are frying, you need to heat the oil on medium flame and fry them until golden brown. If you feel the falafels are burning, reduce the flame and cook evenly.
- 2 cup of soaked/canned chickpea
- 1 small red onion roughly chopped
- 4-5 green chilies
- 6 cloves of garlic
- handful of coriander/cilantro
- 6-8 peppercorns
- 2 pods of cardamom
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- salt as per taste
- 2 tbsp oil
- Drain the water from chickpeas. Make sure the chickpeas are not watery.
- Add these chickpeas and all other items mentioned above except salt and baking soda
- Grind this to a coarse texture. Do not add water.
- Transfer this falafel mixture to a mixing bowl.
- Add salt and baking soda. Mix everything together.
- Cover the bowl with lid and refrigerate for 30 mins-1 hour.
- After 1 hour, preheat the oven to 400F and place a baking sheet on top of a baking tray.
- Grease the baking sheet with cooking spray/oil
- Remove the falafel mixture from the fridge and make circular flat falafels.
- Use a tbsp to measure the falafel mix so that all the falafels are of the same size.
- Place these falafels on top of the baking tray and bake for 10 mins.
- After 10 mins, turn the falafels over and bake for another 10 mins.
- Remove after 10 mins from the oven and let it cool slightly.
- If you are frying, heat oil to medium flame and fry these falafels until crisp golden brown.
In a shallow pan, heat 1 inch oil on medium flame. Then place the falafels into it. Turn the falafels gently only when one side of the falafel is cooked properly to crisp golden brown.