By Esther Boateng
When I think of falafel, I instantly think of hummus and tahini sauce. I also think of perfectly round crispy golf ball sized deliciousness. If you want this type of falafel, be prepared to use a deep fat fryer and lots of oil. If this option doesn’t appeal, try this baked method.
You’ll need fresh herbs and spices, a generous scoop of ghee, a touch of oat flour or chickpea flour, and plenty of patience while your falafel bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes.
I prefer to use oat flour when I make this recipe. Past experience tells me that if I invest in a bag of chickpea flour, I’ll use it a few times and it’ll end up buried deep in my pantry. If you’re also a serial flour hoarder, oat flour might appeal. It only takes a few extra minutes to grind the oats in a coffee grinder, and you’ll end up with a fine powder that resembles the texture of chickpea flour.
Fresh parsley and cilantro will greatly enhance the flavor of the falafel. With that said, you can also use freeze-dried herbs. Freshly ground cumin, cardamom, and coriander are also great choices for seasoning your falafel. I like to toast the cumin for a few seconds in a heated fry pan before I grind it; the aroma is incredible. Another ingredient I like to use is baking powder; it makes the falafel tender, light, and airy.
Although you can use a can of chickpeas, I strongly recommend soaking a cup or two of dried chickpeas overnight, and letting it boil for about 20-30 minutes. You can even do this a day or two in advance; soak them overnight, drain, and leave them in the fridge until you’re ready to use them.
Smaller size balls of falafel will take a shorter time to cook, whichever method you choose. I tried flash frying some falafel patties prior to baking; they end up with a better color, but it’s not worth the extra time or the hit on my health. I’m happy to have pale green patties that are full of flavor, with an almost melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Fabulously Fluffy Falafel
- 1- 2 cups of dried chickpeas or a can of chickpeas
2 Tbsp. Dr. Cowan’s Garden 18th Century
Toasted Stone Cut Oats (grounded)
1/2 tsp. Dr. Cowan’s Garden Pepper Salt
1/2 tsp. Dr. Cowan’s Garden High-Protein
1 tsp. Dr. Cowan’s Wild Ramp Powder
1/2 tsp. Dr. Cowan’s Garden Threefold Blend Powder (Spicy)
2-3 Tbsp. Dr. Cowan's Garden Ghee for flash frying or baking falafels
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. coriander
- 1/2 tsp. cardamom
- 1 cup fresh parsley
- 1 cup fresh cilantro
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- Salt to taste
3-4 garlic cloves
- 1 bunch of scallions or 1/2 an onion diced
If you’re using dried chickpeas, soak overnight, rinse thoroughly, drain, and boil for 20-30 minutes. Drain the boiled chickpeas, and they are ready to use.
If you’re using a can of chickpeas, drain, and use as is.
Pre-heat oven to 375.
Peel and crush garlic cloves.
Rinse and trim the ends of the scallions, and randomly slice.
If you’re using onions, peel and dice half an onion.
Chop the parsley and cilantro.
Add the scallion/onion, garlic, parsley and cilantro to the blender, and pulse for a few minutes until you get your desired consistency. You may need to scrape down the sides of the blender and then continue to pulse.
Add the chickpeas, and pulse until all ingredients are well combined.
Scoop this mixture into a bowl.
Add cumin, coriander, cardamom, vegetable powders, and salt, and stir briefly.
Place the bowl in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Remove from the fridge, add baking powder, and oat flour or chickpea flour and stir until well combined.
Shape into balls or patties. You can flash fry with a spoonful or two of ghee, and place in a pre-heated oven at 375 F for approximately 30 minutes until cooked to your satisfaction. Or you can skip the flash fry, coat them in melted ghee, and place them straight in the oven.
If you find it’s taking too long for the falafel to bake at 375, you can increase the temperature slightly.