Can You Bake Falafel?
I made my first falafel this year, and while it’s really tasty, it’s a royal pain in the butt to make. Want to guarantee that the Tiny Kitchen Assistant will need your help? Fry something that requires your undivided attention.
When I made my last batch of falafel, I had a ton of leftover mixture. I could have stood there in front of the frying pan for another 20 minutes, or I could get creative.
That’s when I decided to bake my falafel.
Ingredients (same as the fried version)
- 2 cups dried chickpeas (garbanzos), soaked overnight
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 5-6 cloves garlic
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 2 tsp cumin
- Nonstick cooking spray
Instructions (same as before, up until the cooking method)
Combine everything in the bowl of your food processor and blend until the mixture takes on a texture that I’ve seen described as “like couscous.” You don’t want to overpuree. The finished product appears light and fluffy, yet it’s able to stick together. These things seem contradictory, and yet I’ve seen them happen with my own eyes.
Once you reach the desired consistency, store the mixture in the refrigerator for at least two hours. Go play with the kiddo.
Preheat your oven to 475 degrees F. Coat a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
Using an ice cream scoop, portion equal amounts of mixture into the muffin cups. Press firmly.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.
They can be eaten immediately, or allowed to cool, frozen and reheated in a 350 degree oven.
Serve with tahini sauce or tzatziki. I served ours in pitas with a homemade tzatziki and cucumber slices in an effort to curry favor with the Tiny Kitchen Assistant.
Let’s not kid ourselves: the fried version is tastier. It’s fried. But is the baked version reasonably tasty? Absolutely. In addition to my pita sandwich, I ate two more, just topped with tzatziki. It’s also much less labor-intensive. I can load 24 baked falafel into the oven and go do something else, rather than tending to the hot oil for the duration of dinner-making.
“I don’t like falafel,” declared the Assistant before dinner.
“You liked it last time,” I said.
“Did I? Oh. Ok.”
He’s just so easygoing.