This week’s Meatless Monday is one of my favorites: Falafel with Greek Yogurt Tahini Dressing. If you have never had Falafel, it is coarse ground chick peas, and this version is in patty form (Falafel can also be in ball form). This Falafel recipe is baked, not fried. I’ve served it in a pita and topped them with a Greek Yogurt Tahini Dressing, If you’re a fan of hummus, you’ll absolutely adore Falafel.
When I lived in Nashville, there was a little shop in The Arcade in downtown that made the most incredible Falafel I’ve ever eaten. They deep-fat fried theirs in a ball form and they were so delicious! Golden crunchy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside, I’d often head down there at lunch and pick up an order, stuffing them in my face as I headed back to the office.
Being a huge fan of hummus, I suppose it was natural that I would adore falafel. Interestingly, I cannot stand to bite into a whole chick pea (unless they are roasted and toasty). I guess it’s a textural issue for me, but roast them or grind them up and I could cheerfully eat my weight in them.
The chick peas for Falafel are coarse ground, and combined in this recipe with so many great flavors! In addition to the garbanzo beans, there is onion, garlic, fresh cilantro, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and toasted sesame seeds.
These Falafel are baked not fried. Once I formed the patties, I gave them a light spray of oil. I’ve said before, I don’t use aerosol cooking spray. Instead, I use an oil atomizer similar to this one. They are a wonderful kitchen gadget that allow you to eliminate the dangerous additives in aerosol cooking sprays, while retaining the benefit of just a spritz of oil.
I used a food processor to grind my chick peas, if you don’t have a food processor, you could use a potato masher or even a fork to mash them. Once they are mashed, you combine them with the other ingredients, form them into patties and bake them for about 20-25 minutes.
Topped with a dressing of Greek yogurt (Chobani is the best), tahini (sesame paste), lime juice, cumin, cilantro and some honey, then stuffed with spinach leaves, cilantro, cucumber and tomato, these pockets of pita are packed with nutrition. I hope you’ll give them a try!
- 1 -15 ounce can garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained and rinsed
- ½ cup yellow onion, peeled
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- Spritz of oil
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and set aside.
- Take half of the chick peas and coarsely chop.
- Place them in a bowl and set aside.
- Place remaining chick peas in food processor with the onion, garlic, cilantro, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper and pulse until you have a thick paste (about 30 seconds).
- Add salt and ground black pepper, pulse to combine and taste. Adjust as necessary.
- Place this mixture in the bowl with the coarse chopped chick peas.
- Add the beaten egg and toasted sesame seeds and stir to combine.
- Chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
- Remove from the refrigerator and using a rounded tablespoonful, form into patties and place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Spritz with oil.
- Place the baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the patties are golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 6-8 cilantro leaves, minced
- pinch of ground cumin
- pinch salt
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine.