It’s time to take a culinary trip and explore the street food of the Middle East FALAFEL.
These falafel’s are easy to prepare, require staple pantry ingredients and full of nutrients. Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside this will be your new go to recipe.
The process to make a great falafel is to make sure you soak your beans! I know it can sometimes sound like a pain in the butt but definitely worth it. Soaking the beans helps release the chickpea flavor, therefore keeping the falafel fluffy and crumbly on the inside, while crispy on the outside.
Any great dish needs an easy to make flavor filled sauce. The key to all sauces is salt, fat, acid and heat (my favorite cookbook). Chimichurri absolutely delivers on all fronts. Fresh mint and parsley blend together with garlic, shallot, jalapeno, a splash of vinegar and olive oil. In other words pure deliciousness.
Typically falafel is served with Pita bread, but I decided to switch things up a bit and pair it with beet rice. I am a huge beet lover and even better they are in full season during spring. In addition to beets being a spring vegetable they provide amazing nutrients and beautiful color. I slow roasted them in the oven, peeled and pureed them with garlic and seasonings then mixed with the rice. Serve it up with your crispy baked falafel and you have yourself one delicious meal.
- 8 ounces dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, drained
- ½ red onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 jalapeño, coarsely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- ¾ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 3 tbsp chickpea flour
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1½ cups mint leaves
- ½ cup parsley leaves and stems
- 1 small jalapeño, coarsely chopped
- 1 small shallot, coarsely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Pinch of sugar
- ½ cup plus extra-virgin olive oil
- 1¼ cups red rice
- Kosher salt
- 1 medium onion, halved
- 1 whole clove
- 1 small dried chile de árbol, crushed
- Beet Puree
- 6 medium beets, trimmed
- 2 small garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small red chile, seeded and minced
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp cumin
- Salt and pepper
- Flafel - Heat oven 350.
- Pulse chickpeas in a food processor, scraping down sides as needed, until they resemble finely chopped nuts (the texture should be uneven, with some slightly larger pieces visible), about 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Pulse onion, jalapeño, garlic, cilantro, and parsley in food processor, scraping down sides as needed, until coarsely chopped, about 1 minute. Mix into chickpeas, then mix in chickpea flour, salt, baking powder, lemon and remaining spices. Form into ping-pong–size balls. Bake in oven 20-25 minutes.
- Sauce - Mix all ingredients in blender. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Beet Rice - In a small saucepan, bring rice, a pinch of salt, and 2 cups water to a boil. Stick cloves into onion halves and add to pot along with chile. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until rice is tender, 30–40 minutes. Once cool mix in beet puree and serve.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Put the beets in a small roasting pan and add ¼ cup of water. Cover with foil and bake for about 1 hour, until tender. Let cool slightly. Peel the beets, cut into wedges and transfer to a food processor. Add the garlic, chile and pulse until blended. Add the olive oil, maple syrup, cumin and puree. Season with salt and pepper.