Falafel are a Middle-Eastern snack made from chickpeas. They are normally fried and served in pitta bread, and man are they are delicious! They are absolutely perfect for this time of year, they taste great served with couscous or salad.
Unfortunately, I find many shop-brought falafel to be quite dry and disappointing. So I wanted to make a recipe that produced soft, moist falafel. I chose to bake instead of frying them, to be healthier and I think it worked really well!
The trick was grated courgette! I had a huge glut of courgettes in my fridge and needed to use them up, so I grated one and added it to the blender with traditional falafel ingredients. The great thing about this, is that the moist courgette acts as a binder, so you don’t need egg – meaning these delicious balls of loveliness are vegan friendly!
This recipe makes around 9 medium size falafels. They are perfect for taking to picnics or serving as part of a meze-style dinner!
- 400g boiled chickpeas – do make sure the chickpeas that you use are cooked, otherwise you won’t achieve the right consistency.
- 1 medium courgette (grated)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- a handful fresh parsley
- a handful of fresh coriander
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1 generous tsp Cajun seasoning
- salt and pepper to season
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tbsp chickpea flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
- Preheat your oven to Gas mark 4. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
- Grate your courgette. Place the grated courgette onto a plate and press with kitchen towel. You want to be aiming to soak up as much water as you can from the courgette – otherwise the falafel mixture will be too wet.
- Add the chickpeas and herbs to a blender and pulse until combined. Add the courgette and blend. You are looking for a coarse mixture. I prefer my falafels to have pretty flashes of green from the fresh herbs and courgette, so be sure not to over-blend it.
- Tip the mixture into a large bowl and add the flour and breadcrumbs. Stir until all the ingredients are combined.
- Dust extra flour over your hands and scoop out about a tablespoon of the mixture. Gently roll the mixture between your palms, into balls and place onto the baking tray – warning this can get messy! Keep dusting your palms with extra chickpea flour to prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands.
- Bake the falafels at Gas mark 4 for between 30 – 40 minutes. Be sure to flip half way through, ensuring both sides of the falafels turn a golden brown.
- Serve and enjoy! These little patties will keep for up to a week if kept refrigerated. Sprinkle with a bit of water and microwave for a minute to recreate that ‘just-out-of-the-oven’ soft texture.
We recommend serving in pitta breads with lashings of Greek yoghurt, roasted red peppers and salad! Oh-so good! ENJOY!