Thursday, March 26, 2009

Baked Falafel

Do you use brown sugar ? If yes, then you know that brown sugar shows a marked tendency to turn lumpy and a little hard. I use only brown sugar and find myself trying to break out the lumps in them with the back of a spoon before measuring it out for either tea or other cooking. I came across this tip recently in a book (I cannot remember which one ) which has now made this struggle with brown sugar a thing of the past for me. The book suggested that to break up the sugar we should place the sugar in a microwave safe bowl and place it in the microwave beside a mug filled with water and zap it for about 2 minutes on high heat. I tried this, a little nervously initially, since I had this fear that heating the sugar would cause it to start melting. But I was wrong, in a couple of minutes the hardest lumps from the sugar disintegrated. So try this if you are having problems with your brown sugar forming lumps, only do remember to cool the sugar to room temperature before storing it back in an airtight container.

Moving on, falafel is a fried ball or patty made out of spiced chickpeas. Wikipedia classifies falafel as a fast food from the middle east.  For those of you who have not tried this but are familiar with Indian cuisine, this dish may remind you a little of masala vadai. Falafel though classified as a fast food can be quite healthy except for the fact that it is fried. So when I came across this recipe on Kalyn's site, the idea of baking the falafel appealed to me a great deal. I tried it and was really glad I did, the falafel turned out crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, just the way I like it. 




Ingredients and Method to make the baked Falafel

1 cup dry chickpeas (kabuli channa) soaked in sufficient water with 1/8 tsp of baking soda for 8 hours (the soda is optional)
1 small yellow onion (cut fine)
half a handful of parsley (cut fine)
half a handful of cilantro (cut fine)
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp salt (or according to taste)
1 tsp baking powder
All Purpose Flour (Maida) as required to bind (it took me about 4 to 5 tsp all purpose flour)
1 tbsp crushed red pepper

about 1 tsp of oil to brush on top of the falafel (optional)


Soak the dry chickpeas in sufficient water with 1/8 tsp of baking soda (the soda is optional ) for about 8 hours or overnight.

Drain the soaked chickpeas well.

Place the soaked chickpeas along with cut onions, parsley, cilantro, cumin powder, minced garlic, crushed red pepper,cumin powder, baking powder and salt in a  food processor and grind to get a coarse thick bread crumb like texture.

Add the all purpose flour and use the pulse feature on the food processor until it binds together slightly.

Add more flour if the mixture does not seem to bind. If you take the mixture in your palm and make a fist, the mixture should hold together.

Chill this mixture in the refrigerator for about 2 to 3 hours ( I placed this mixture in the refrigerator overnight and made the falafel patty the next day)

Preheat oven to 400 deg F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Form the mixture into lemon sized balls and flatten it a little and place it on the lined baking sheet about half an inch apart. If you plan to use oil you can brush a little on each patty at this point.

Bake about 20 to 30 minutes turning once in between.

Remove from the oven and serve hot with any yogurt dip of choice, or use in a wrap or for some fusion use this patty in a burger.

The number of patties will depend on the size of each of them.

Notes

I tried one batch with oil and one without oil and frankly did not see the oil enhancing the taste very much, so you can easily skip this if you wish.

It is important that the chickpeas are drained thoroughly before being placed in the food processor. If the water is not drained then the chick peas may turn a little mushy and may need more flour to bind. 



66 comments :

Lavanya said...

nice info abt brown sugar lumps..good recipe..looks like a cutlet :)

Namrata Kini said...

My hubby used to have Chicken Falafel many times when we were in NY. I have never tried any falafels till date. Your falafel looks tempting.

Lisa said...

Another tip for keeping brown sugar from going hard is to put a clay disc in the jar with the sugar.

Love the falafel recipe. I do prefer baked versions!

Pavani said...

Falafel sandwich is one of my favorite fast foods, not to make at home :-), but to buy from our local Greek restaurant. Great tip on brown sugar, but I usually end up placing the whole container in mw and zap for 30-40 secs.

Varsha Vipins said...

Baked one looks yum n healthy..Am yet to try Falafels in my kitchen..:)
I have heard that putting a few rice grains in the airtight sugar jar will absorb all the moisture n keep it lump free..:)

indosungod said...

Usha, my mother gave me the tip. I was kind skeptical at first but it works. Same goes for the block asfoetida. Falafel was a regular meal for us when we lived in Egypt for a while.

They look so good.

Rajitha said...

falafals look great and thanks on pointing out that the oil really did not enhance the taste...will try it without the oil. And will be using ur tip on the brown sugar often...i use it on my oatmeal!!

Mangala Bhat said...

Wow ! looks yummy baked one hah! nice ...and nice info about brown sugar i had recently started using brown sugar ..soo it helps Thanks :)

miss v said...

i *finally* wrote down my falafel recipe so i could post about it. i bake mine too... similar to yours, a little different. i think baking is the way to go. :)

Sahaja said...

ohh wow ...i ate it first time in Amsterdam....ummm looks delicious and i love the taste so gonna try it pretty soon!

Asha said...

Thanks so much for the tip about hard sugar. I have brand new bag still sealed but hard like rock candy, will try this trick.

Baked Falafel looks great, may not be as crunchy as the fried one but good for us, right? :)

DEESHA said...

thatz quite a handy tip .. thanks so much for that. I love falafels .. baked ones are certsinly more healthy

Laavanya said...

I had the same problem with brown sugar but nowadays I just store the bag in the fridge - doesn't harden up anymore.

I've been baking the falafels too and find it just as satisfying as the fried ones. Looks good Usha.

Vani said...

Good tip there, USha. Baked falafels look good!

Superchef said...

thanks for that tip, i find it difficult when brown sugar getss lumped up, especially for baking! the falafels look gorgeous!

Ushanandini said...

wonderful tip usha! Falafel looks great!

Priya said...

Useful tip about brown sugar, Baked falafel looks prefect n amazing!!

Poornima Nair said...

The falafel looks delicious...n thats a great tip there.

Vishali said...

delicious Falafel Usha...wishing u and ur family a very happy Ugadi !!

Madhu said...

I keep brown sugar in freezer, doesnt lump up try this.
Falafel looks lovely..

Soma said...

I always microwave my brown sugar:-) Love love falafels & baked version is good.

Anu said...

I love falafel. U r rite they are like our own masal vadais :) Baked one is really gud for health. Looks yummy too!

Smitha said...

Thanks for the info on brown sugar. I will try it. An dthe baked falafel is a big hit with me. I love your recipe:)

Sonal said...

great tip usha as i always struggle wiith brown sugar..hey this falafel looks yummy..one of my hubby's fav.

Indhu said...

yummy looking falafels :)
so like our vadais :)
thanks you for these tips... they are very helpful :)

Cham said...

I ve heard not to turn the brown sugar hard, breaking is useful tip! Baking is great option and mess free also!

Priya Sriram said...

Oh my, I haven't tried falafel (sounds funny :D ), but sure looks yummm!!

Curry Leaf said...

Love the baked version. love falafel but I am always worried that baked ones may not look as good as the fried ones.
I too microwave brownsugar lumps and in the same way.

Vegetation said...

Great tip about the brown sugar! Where I live it's humid and my sugar always seems to have big clumps.

Mmmm felafel are awesome. I love your baked ones!

Vibaas said...

love this recipe. they look as good as fried ones :)

Sara said...

I love falafel, in fact, I'm planning to make it for dinner in a few days!

Red Chillies said...

Cool idea about brown sugar.
I had the same perspective of Falafel when i first had it, which is Masala vada. This baked version is good one.

A_and_N said...

Baking anything is what we look for! Super tips also! :)

Bharti said...

I don't like frying but make an exception for felafel sometimes. I haven't tried baking them though..seems like a great idea. They looks delicious.

Jaishree said...

Nice info about brown sugar.Falafel looks lovely.

jayasree said...

Good tip on brown sugar. Falafel looks yummy. Yet to try and taste it. Glad to know baked ones are equally delicious.

Dreamhomeforu said...

The tips about storing brown sugar minus lumps is too good. Iam definitely going to try this recipe. The baked falafel's look so perfect and yummy.

Madhumathi said...

Thats a very useful tip on brown sugar!
I love falafels..I like the baked version of yours :)

kahliyalogue said...

You definitely made my day with this! Felafel is a huge part of my culture(atleast one of them.. :) )
and an all time favorite,one I kind of had to let go of considering all the oil involved in the frying..but now relived with this version!Thanx a bunch!I will have to give it a try..! Mia

Sia said...

that's very useful tip and thank u for that :) i heavily use brown sugar in day to day cooking.

and do i need to say anything abt falafel!! thy look fantastic!

Vicky Xavier. said...

Good tips on brown sugar. Baked falafel looks delicious.

ARUNA said...

Hi Usha,

Yet another fantastic recipe. I never used brown sugar, but have no problem in trying new ones. And also i soaked chickpeas yesterday night for making some other dish....so i guess i can try this too!!Will let u know once i try this out!

Ann said...

That was a valuable information for me too Usha..thanks..Felafel looks simply great too

Sandhya said...

That's oen healthy way to make falafal, thank you for sharing the recipe. I always thought to make falafal you need to boil chickpeas first!!

Priti said...

Though I don't use brown sugar yet..but that's a handy tip....thanks gal :)...and falafal.looks yummy..

Deepa Hari said...

Falafel looks great Usha...never tried baking it...sounds healthy....nice tip on brown sugar...i too keep it in the MW...it really helps.

Preety said...

baking falafel is a fabulous idea..by just looking at them no one could tell that it is baked not deep fired

Sumathi said...

The falafel looks really crispy and yummy..

Hema said...

I used to buy from Costco.Now, It's really easy to make.

Girl Japan said...

There are so many recipes I want to try from your site.. I have saved all of them in my RSS feed via my mail application = ) so when I get the guts to try... they are safely tucked away = )

cheers darling..

Shama Nagarajan said...

looks yummy and crispy

Madhuram said...

The tip for the brown rice comes with the packet itself and yes it works like a charm.

The baked falafels look really very good Usha. I think Bee also has a recipe for this.

Arch said...

Nice tip Usha...and the falafels look great...i once had falafels stuffed in pita bread like a sandwich with a lot of dressing...super one..must try this

Jaya said...

Dear Usha,
the tip is so useful an thanks for that ...
and the baked falafel is even more better ,these looks so tempting :)..
hugs and smiles

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

healthy and yummy too...looks great.

Food Fanatic said...

oh awesome! love the healthier versions. thanks for posting this.

n33ma said...

Good tip usha will keep that in mind.yummy and healthy.

Valarmathi said...

Useful tip, thanks. Falafel looks tempting.

raaji said...

Hi usha.....

How are u doing???been a long time visited ur blog....Tip was very useful since even i use it instead of regular one a lot....I gone through few intresting recipes and love o try ur version of schezuan fried rice and falefal

AnuSriram said...

Thats a nice tip about brown sugar. Baked Falafels sounds interesting! Looks lovely!

Vidhya said...

this is a new recipe to me Usha. thanks for sharing

Meenal Mehta said...

healthy option to fried falfel..gotta try it , thanks for sharing :)

Ana Powell said...

Hi Usha
I have eaten these before and I really loved them x

bee said...

brown sugar is plain sugar plus molasses. i store them separately. for every half cup of brown sugar, i use plain sugar plus one tablespoon unsulphured molasses. no lumps.

Divya Vikram said...

Thanks for the tips on brown sugar. Will consider bee's tip too. Baked falafel looks lovely.

Anonymous said...

Hey there, Came across your recipe for baked falafel and thought I'd share mine. I made a vegatable version today and the carnivorous husband devoured it so it's a keeper for me!:)

Essentially I used besan instead of the whole chickpeas and added in a slice of multigrain bread, water and a lot of chopped veggies (red onions, carrots, beans,peppers, peas) and some spices. Rolled the mixture into lemon sized balls and baked it in the oven.

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