Falafel originated in the Middle East and has since become a popular alternative to meat. These days, it makes a regular appearance in fast food trucks and health food outlets all over the western world. It is typically deep fried, although I’ve always opted to create a much healthier baked or grilled alternative.
When I developed my original baked falafel recipe I served it on a retreat and a beautiful lady from Israel came over to me me and that it was the best falafel she’d ever tasted. I was completely bowled over, because falafel is widely considered as the national dish of Israel. I create everything on intuition and since then I’ve explored different versions. In this particular recipe here, I decided to make a burger/patty shape to form the a perfect thickness for cooking under a grill (a grill in the UK = broiler in the US).
Chickpeas (garbonzo beans) are one of the main ingredients in this recipe. They are a little treasure trove of nutritional goodness, with high levels of protein, plenty of phytonutrients, folates and an abundance of minerals such as manganese, iron, copper, phosphorous and zinc. Carrots play an exciting role too, complementing the chickpeas, cumin, coriander and garlic whilst acting to moisten and help bind everything together. The humble carrot also has exceptional vitamin A and antioxidant content along with a refreshing sweetness; well and truly earning their place as the perfect addition to these tasty burgers. To top it all off I’ve also posted my coriander tahini sauce recipe for a delicious accompaniment.
- 350g carrots grated (3 medium sized carrots)
- 3 large cloves of garlic crushed
- 2 tins of drained chickpeas (or 480g drained weight)
- A few small sprigs of of parsley (or use dried)
- 5 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon celtic sea salt
- Grate the carrots.
- Peel and finely crush the garlic.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
- Finely chop the parsley.
- Blend all ingredients together with a food processor or a blender. You may need to stop the processor several times and scrape down the sides. Blend until the mixture sticks together. Some chunks are fine, as long as it all holds together when you press into a patty shape.
- Divide into about 10. Form into patty shapes about 1.5cm (half an inch) high.
- Grill (broil) under a medium temperature for approximately 10 minutes on each side. That should be enough to heat them through thoroughly and give each side a nice, toasty tan. Be careful when you turn them over, they are a little fragile until crisped off on both side...
- Enjoy with tahini sauce.
And to top it off nicely, here’s a tasty tahini sauce recipe that you can whip up in no time…