Braised vegetables with falafel and yoghurt sauce

    1 hour 30 minutes

    Try these bite-sized falafel with a simple vegetable casserole. Made with canned chickpeas and then baked, the falafel are quick and easy to prepare. They're good cold as well as hot.

    2 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 garlic clove, crushed
    • 2 large onions, sliced
    • 2 large yellow or red capsicums, deseeded and sliced
    • 2 zucchini
    • 300ml salt-reduced vegetable stock
    • 350g cherry tomatoes, halved
    • pepper to taste
    • For the falafel
    • 2 cans (400g each) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    • 8 spring onions, chopped
    • ½ cup (30g) chopped fresh parsley
    • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
    • 2 tbsp ground coriander
    • For the sauce
    • ½ telegraph cucumber, grated
    • 2¼ cups (85g) shredded watercress leaves
    • 1½ cups (85g) shredded rocket
    • ¼ cup (15g) chopped fresh mint
    • grated zest of 1 lime
    • ¾ cup (200g) plain low-fat yogurt

    Preparation:30min  ›  Cook:1hour  ›  Ready in:1hour30min 

    1. First make the falafel. Brush a shallow baking dish with a little oil. Put the chickpeas in a bowl and mash with a potato masher, then mix in the spring onions, parsley, fresh and ground coriander, and pepper to taste. Alternatively, mix the ingredients in a food processor. With your hands, shape the mixture into 24 balls, slightly larger than walnuts, placing them in the prepared dish. Set aside.
    2. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole dish. Add the garlic, onions and capsicums. Stir well, then cover with a lid and cook, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
    3. Stir in the zucchini and stock. Bring to the boil, then cover the casserole dish and transfer it to the oven. Place the falafel in the oven at the same time. Cook for 20 minutes.
    4. Add the tomatoes to the casserole dish and stir. Cover and return it to the oven. Use a spoon and fork to turn the falafel, taking care not to break them. Cook the casserole and falafel for a further 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the falafel are crisp and lightly browned.
    5. Meanwhile, to make the yoghurt sauce, squeeze the cucumber in handfuls to remove excess moisture. Put it into a bowl. Stir in the watercress, rocket, mint, lime zest and yoghurt. Add pepper to taste and transfer to a serving dish. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
    6. Transfer the falafel to a serving dish. Serve with the braised vegetables and yoghurt sauce.

    Some more ideas…

    *Ratatouille: Use only 1 large onion, then add 1 diced eggplant with the zucchini. Replace the cherry tomatoes with 500g peeled and quartered roma tomatoes.
    *For a punchy flavour, add 2 crushed garlic cloves and the grated zest of 1 lemon to the falafel mixture.
    *Basil is good in the yogurt sauce: shred a handful of fresh leaves and add them with or instead of the rocket.

    Health points

    Watercress has been considered something of a superfood for many centuries. Hippocrates wrote about its medicinal values in 460 BC and built the world's first hospital next to a stream so he could grow fresh watercress. Watercress provides vitamins C and E, and carotenoid compounds. It also contributes substantial amounts of folate, niacin and vitamin B6.

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    you can make your own Felafels with the Lebanese Falafel Scoop from  -  28 Jan 2009