Jun 06, 2013

Baked Falafel + Yogurt Tahini Sauce

Falafels! I love them. I could eat them every day. The nutty taste of the chickpeas, the freshness of the veggies and the tangy tahini sauce… it’s the perfect bite! I’ve been wanting to make this delicious Middle Eastern treat and share it with you for months and finally, it’s here. Baked falafel is so much healthier than the traditional fried version, especially deep-fried, which is the customary way they are prepared!

These yummy patties are not only hugely popular in Israel. Throughout the Middle East they are a common form of street food and are often served as a mezze (appetizer). Falafel, despite its strong connection with Israel, actually originated in Egypt, and was made from fava beans. Its roots can be traced all the way back to the Christian Copts of Egypt who were forbidden from eating meat during certain holidays and came up with a bean alternative.

Made with chickpeas, falafel is high in protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. Chickpeas are also low in fat and contain no cholesterol. Falafel is high in soluble fiber, which has been shown to be effective in lowering cholesterol. [1,2]

Ingredients:

  • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas (about 2 cups), well drained
  • 1 small onion, diced (red onion is great with this dish)
  • 3 TBS besan (chickpea) flour
  • 1 tsp ground flax meal
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

       ~ for the yogurt tahini sauce

  • 1 cup plain vegan yogurt (unsweetened)
  • ¼ cup raw tahini
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
done baking!
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix all falafel ingredients together, either in a food processor or simply using a fork to mash everything together in a bowl. I used a food processor for these but I may use the fork method next time for a chunkier consistency.
  3. Shape to mixture into balls, I used a 1″ ice cream scoop which creates a perfect, consistent size. Drop onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and press lightly to create disc shapes.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, then flip and bake for 20 more minutes or until the crusts are golden brown and firm to the touch. Be gentle when flipping as they can crumble easily at this stage. The patties should be nice and crunchy on the outside and a little soft inside when done.
  5. While the patties are baking, make the sauce by placing all the sauce ingredients in a blender and blending until smooth.
  6. Serve stuffed inside whole grain pita pockets with some lettuce leaves and top with chopped cucumber, tomato, onion and the yogurt tahini sauce. NOTE: As an alternative, you can serve them on top of romaine lettuce leaves for a grain-free dish.

Makes 18-20 patties. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,

  1. Katz, David; Gonzalez, Maura (2004). Way to Eat: A Six-Step Path to Lifelong Weight Control. Sourcebooks, Inc. p. 217. ISBN 978-1-4022-0264-3. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
  2. Piscatella, Joseph; Franklin, Barry (2003). Take a load off your heart: 109 things you can actually do to prevent, halt, or reverse heart disease. Workman Publishing. p. 296. ISBN 978-0-7611-2676-8. Retrieved February 23, 2011.

6 responses to “Baked Falafel + Yogurt Tahini Sauce”

  1. masaravati says:

    Helyn, I just discovered your site and thank you, thank you. Our family (two parents, two kids) is nutritionarian since seeing Forks over Knives just over a year and a half ago. Follow Esselsytn(father and son!), Furhman, McDougall and Campbell. Basically, no meat, no dairy, no added oil, lots of veggies, beans and whole grains. Working to leave behind processed food.

    I also love to cook and bake and am now striving to find that balance between good for you and tastes good too. Several of your recipes are ones that I've been either looking for or working on.

    Love falafal. This will be on my "have got to try" list!

  2. Helyn says:

    Hi! I'm so happy you found me 🙂 That's great that you and your whole family are eating to live! It's been an amazing journey for me. I hope you will soon be enjoying some of my recipes. Don't forget to subscribe so you can get emails whenever there is a new post. Happy cooking!!!

  3. Another fabuloso recipe, Helyn! I am so inspired by all of your posts lately, you have the most amazing pictures and you are so creative! I've added your blog to my list of resources on my blog and well as on my app, Vegan Delish. I'm also recommending your blog to Wendy of Healthy Girl's Kitchen. You rock!!! Keep up the good work. 🙂

  4. Helyn says:

    Wow! Thanks, Carrie! I'm blushing… 🙂

  5. Jcb says:

    Am excited to try this. What yogurt do you use? I cannot find a vegan yogurt without objectionable additives. I may just make a tahini, garlic and lemon juice sauce instead.

    Love your recipes.

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