Baked falafel

I had the best falafel in town today at the Kirstenbosch Craft Market. On the last Sunday every month we make a mission to this small market which has mostly useless crafty junk, but also a fabulous falafel stand. The falafels have that perfect nutty texture, with a slightly crunchy outside. They’re served in warm homemade pitta breads, with loads of chilli relish, hummus, yoghurt, shredded cabbage, sprouts and deliciously acidic pickled vegetables. I have yet to find falafels that beat these ones in Cape Town.

I go the healthy route when I’m making my own falafels by baking instead of frying them. They’re really easy to make, and are great for a midweek supper if you don’t really feel like doing any cooking. I eat them in toasted pitas with hummus, tomato and onion, fresh coriander, tzatzki, shredded cabbage and carrot, avocado and chilli sauce.

Falafel

(Adapted from a recipe in Fairlady Magazine)

Makes about 20 falafel balls

  • 2 tins chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 crushed cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped coriander
  • Juice of a lemon

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and then leave the mixture in the fridge for an hour or two to firm up. (This is not essential if you don’t have time, but it means the balls will be less crumbly).

Preheat the oven to 200C. Shape the mixture into small falafel balls and lay them on a baking sheet on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.