Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Sunday cooking: healthy baked falafel

On Sunday I promised a falafel recipe. I'm aware that it's now Tuesday, but hey, good to keep people on their toes! Now I'm not sure why exactly I wanted to make my own falafel - I think I might have seen a recipe for falafel burgers on the BBC Good Food website. Regardless of the reasons, I'd never had falafel before, so I thought they'd be fun to make.

I had a browse of a few recipes, and this is the one that I based my falafel on. I say based, because I didn't actually have many of the ingredients. But taking inspiration from my lovely mother, who likes to look at a recipe and then pick and chose ingredients and quantities, I substituted a few ingredients, using up leftovers, and this is what I came up with:

150g drained and washed kidney beans (Chick peas are the traditional ingredient and can be used, as can almost any type of bean)
1/3 red onion
1 large tomato, without seeds
1 small carrot
1/2 clove Garlic (more can be used, I just had a half clove left over)
1 tbsp Corriander pesto (but if you have fresh corriander this might be better!)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground corriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Squeeze of lemon juice
Small handful of basil, chopped
Small handful of mint, chopped

1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 Tbsp. flour

Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees, and grease a baking tray

1. In a food processor, chop the onion, tomato, garlic and carrot into fine pieces. Add the kidney beans and chop until the beans are only roughly chopped, not too small.
2. Put these ingredients into a large bowl.
3.Combine the remaining ingredients, either in the food processor or in a small bowl.
4. Mix everything thoroughly together, and put pingpong sized balls on the baking tray.
5. Pat each ball slightly flatter, and put in the oven.
6. I wish I could tell you how long these should take to cook, but it depends whether you used chick peas or a bean, and how wet your mixture is. I checked mine at 15 minute intervals, turning them each time; mine took 45 minutes because my mixture was quite wet. Don't be tempted to turn up you oven unless you want a slightly burnt outer layer.

My falafel baking in the oven
The leftovers
Looking at the ingredients, you could put pretty much anything into these falafel and they'd still taste great. Add more cayenne if you like food super spicy, or leave it out completely. You could, of course, follow Picky Eater's recipe,; I just wanted to show that it doesn't matter if you don't have everything a recipe asks for, unless you're making something very technically specific you can pick and chose, depending on what food you have.

I ate mine in a pitta bread with lettuce and cottage cheese. They were good. 

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