Chickpeas mean falafel to me, which I adore. However, the healthy mixture becomes deep-fried fat bombs when prepared traditionally. I used my usual recipe to make falafel, but instead of deep frying, did as suggested in several online recipes and baked them as flat little patties instead of balls. While I'll be the first to admit that my favorite falafel stand in Haifa isn't fearing competition from these, they were tasty, crunchy, and a hell of a lot healthier.
Baked Falafel---makes about 25 tiny snack-size falafels
1 can chick peas
1 cup roughly chopped onion
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 (possibly 4) tablespoons flour
Oil Spray, such as Pam
1. Drain the chick peas in a fine colander, and rinse well. Let drain.
2. Put all ingredients from chick peas to baking powder into a food processor. Pulse till well combined but not pureed, stopping to use a spatula to get the mixture off the sides of the work bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the flour, combine, then see if the mixture sticks to your hands if you try to form a ball. If sticky, add more flour.
3. Refrigerate the mixture for at least two hours.
4. To bake: Spray a nonstick or silpat-lined baking sheet with oil. Form small 2-inch patties from the mixture, and place on the sheet. Spray the tops with oil. Bake in a 400 oven for 15 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly browned. Turn over, and bake another 10-12 minutes till brown on both sides.
5. Serve with a tahini-lemon sauce (1/4 cup tahini, crushed clove garlic, lemon juice and water to make a thin paste) or hummus, or tzatziki (yogurt-cucumber sauce) for dipping; and/or in a mini pita or pita triangle with lettuce and tomato. I think these'd be cute as could be as mini falafel sandwiches for an appetizer.