Red falafel, yup. I’ve tasted a lot of falafel in my life and if you’re a falafel lover, I recommend you try these! It took me a series of experiments to reach this crazily good falafel recipe and I’ve discovered that the redness doesn’t only improve its visual appeal, but it also enhances its flavour by making it a little softer and mellow.
A perfect, healthy recipe for kids who will love these balls for everything they are.
Yields: 20 falafel balls
3 cups of overnight soaked chickpeas
1 bunch (around 150 g) of Italian parsley
1 bunch (around 120 g) of coriander/cilantro.
4 medium sized garlic cloves
2 medium fresh raw (uncooked) beetroots
3 Tbs raw unhulled tahini*
1 Tbs salt
11/4 Tbs ground cumin
1 tsp baking powder
optional: 1 medium sized onion (I didn’t include it this time but it can add flavour)
1. The night before preparing the falafel balls, soak some chickpeas (around 3 cups of dried chickpeas) in a bowl of water so that the water is well above the chickpeas. The chickpeas should be around 1/3 of the contents of the bowl and the rest should be water nearly till the top. Leave them soaked overnight.
2. The following morning, drain the water from the chickpeas, move them to the food processor and blend for around 20-30 seconds. The chickpeas DO NOT need to be cooked. On the contrary! This is one of the common mistakes beginner falafel makers make and then the falafel balls don’t stick. The blending process releases the protein from within the uncooked chickpeas, which holds everything in place.
3. Chop off the stems from the parsley and coriander/cilantro (try to get the soft leafy part apart from the stems, although if some stems end up in the recipe, it’s fine) and then chop them into rough chunks. Add them to the food processor and blend them until the volume of the contents in the food processor reduces to make room for the rest of the ingredients.
4. Peel the beetroots and chop into a few smaller chunks and then add them with the rest of the ingredients into the food processor. Mix it all until it’s blended quite finely but is not a totally smooth texture.
5. Shape into golf sized balls in between the palms of your hands and line on an oven tray lined with parchment paper.
6. Now that the balls are done, you can freeze them and bake a small amount each time so you’ll have them fresh for each meal or bake them straight away. For baking: Heat oven on 1800 C and bake them for around 30 minutes. I personally like them very soft and I bake for around 25 minutes. You can also use the “broil” option for another 3-5 minutes at the end, to get them crispy on the outside while still soft on the inside.
Serving suggestion: Insert in a pita pocket, with hummus, pickles, fresh vegetables and tahini.
Enjoy this recipe and share with friends
* I highly recommend using tahini from raw unhulled-whole sesame seeds because its nutritional value is higher, it contains a lot more calcium than the regular raw tahini and it’s a lot tastier. These 2 are amongst my favourite tahinis: Achva , Baracke .
They are both excellent!
If you’re adventurous and have a power blender, you can attempt making it yourself. Unhulled sesame seeds can be found in some health shops or online. The flavour can be a little bitter and it can take time getting used to but the health benefits are worth it.