Falafels, the traditional Middle Eastern bean patties, are usually deep-fried. This updated version, delicately spiced and crunchy with grated carrot, is baked for a lower-fat result, but is just as delicious and is served in Lebanese bread with salad.
1 can (400 g) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 carrot, finely grated
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
pepper to taste
4 wholemeal pita bread pockets, about 70 g each
1/2 cos lettuce, shredded
2 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
8 tablespoons natural low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
pepper to taste
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Directions Preparation:15min › Cook:20min › Extra time:5min › Ready in:40min
Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Cover a baking tray with baking paper.
Place the chickpeas in a bowl with oil and use a potato masher to mash them until smooth. Mix in the cumin, cayenne pepper, turmeric, garlic, lemon juice, carrot, coriander and pepper. (Alternatively, mix all the ingredients, except the carrot and coriander, in a food processor.) Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the carrot and coriander.
Shape the mixture into 16 flat, round patties, each about 3 cm across, and place them on the baking tray. Bake for 15–20 minutes or until crisp and lightly browned, turning them over halfway through cooking time.
About 3 minutes before the falafels have finished cooking, place the pita breads in the oven to warm. Then split the breads in half widthways and gently open out each half to make a pocket.
Half-fill the pita bread pockets with shredded lettuce and sliced tomatoes, then divide the falafels among them. Mix together the yogurt and mint, season with pepper to taste, and drizzle over the falafels. Serve hot.
Chickpeas are an important source of protein in many parts of the world. They also contain useful amounts of fibre.
Altered ingredient amounts.
I didn't have any lemon so I just added some water for moisture. I also don't like coriander so I skipped out on that too. The result was some lovely subtly flavoured baked falafels made from pantry ingredients. - 14 Oct 2009
This was an easy recipe, quickly prepared, I'll give it that. The only thing I changed was to leave out the coriander, as my vege daughter does not like the taste, but I found them rather dry and crumbly. Maybe it needs more oil, but then they would not be a low-fat recipe. When I put my fork into one, it just exploded into a pile of crumbs. Needs more flavouring added, as it was fairly bland. Not a keeper for me, I'm afraid. - 07 Apr 2010
I made these without lemon (replaced with water) or coriander.
I really love this recipe and will definitely be making them again. Keep in mind that I don't have a reference point for what falafels should taste like, but I like these. This recipe has lots of versatility in modifying to suit your own tastes. They are great for a cheap vegetarian meal that uses pantry contents. - 14 Oct 2009