Healthy Falafels

by Khushboo on May 3, 2017

Considering I just shared my Chickpea Chili recipe, I questioned whether it was overkill to already post another recipe featuring legumes. Part of me thought I should save it for a rainy day, but these Healthy Falafels are just too delicious to wait any longer.  I mean look at these bad boys:

Healthy Falafels

While the food scene in Mumbai only gets increasingly better, one cuisine which needs more focus is Lebanese.  Except for the token restaurant in a five-star hotel, Lebanese options are close to none in the city. As someone who grew up in Lagos where Lebanese restaurants are available in abundance (and nothing short of fantastic), it has always ranked as one of my favourite cuisines.  I have fond memories of at least one meal a week involving shish taouk, hummus, meat arayes, and cheese rolls from our neighboring restaurant Al Basha.  Given those were the days when I had absolutely no awareness of what a nutritious diet involves, falafels too always featured on our order.  In the traditional sense, falafels are deep-fried balls, doughnuts or patties made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both and commonly served with tahini and/or hummus.  

Healthy Falafels Close-Up

Although a far cry from healthy, falafels are certainly delicious in their own right.  In typical K Weigh fashion, I tweaked the original recipe in order to add a bit more nutrition without compromising on taste.  Healthy + Tasteless = No Bueno…am I right or am I RIGHT! Packed with chickpeas, lemon juice, cumin, veggies and more, these Healthy Falafels are full of flavour, fibre and protein yet contain significantly less fat and calories than their deep-fried counterpart.  That only means one thing: MORE HUMMUS 😉 :

Healthy Falafels (fingers)

Healthy FalafelsMakes 20 balls

Ingredients

  • 100g chickpeas (uncooked)
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 small bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 
  • Salt to taste

Method

1) Pour the chickpeas into a large bowl and cover them by about 3 inches of water.  Let them soak overnight (or for at least 8 hours).

2) Drain and rinse the chickpeas well.  Using a pressure cooker or boiling them over stovetop, cook the chickpeas until tender and easy to mash. 

3) Heat a skillet over medium heat and add a teaspoon of olive oil.  Add garlic and onion & sauté until fragrant.  Add in the bell pepper & carrot and continue sautéing for another 2-3 minutes.  Turn off heat.

4) Transfer chickpeas to a large mixing bowl and mash with a fork until about ¾ of the chickpeas are smashed.  Add in the cooked veggies & remaining ingredients.  Stir until all ingredients are well-combined.

5) Roll the mixture into small balls, each about the size of a ping pong ball.

6) Heat a skillet over medium heat and add a teaspoon of oil.  Add falafels and cook for about 5-7 minutes, turning halfway.  Once the balls have developed a golden brown color, turn off heat & serve with your choice of sides & dips.

Notes

i) For the sake of convenience, pressure cook the chickpeas. Cooking chickpeas by the regular stove-top method can take up to 90 minutes, whereas a pressure cooker reduces that time to 8-10 minutes 

What’s your favourite cuisine? For me, it’s a toss-up between Lebanese, Thai & Japanese

What’s your ‘must order’ dish at Lebanese restaurants? Hummus, mutabal (eggplant-based dip), fattoush….I could go on!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen @ Chase the Red Grape May 3, 2017 at 12:32 pm

Oh I adore Lebanese!! It’s all I ate (or wanted to eat) when I was in the Middle East. Turkish bread, rocket salad, grilled chicken and lashings of baba ghanoush! Yes please!

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Khushboo May 18, 2017 at 2:54 pm

Sounds like a dreamy spread!!

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dixya @food, pleasure, and health May 4, 2017 at 5:18 am

i love hummus, baba ganoush, and good kebabs 🙂
i love baked falafels too and your version definitely sounds delicious.

Reply

Khushboo May 18, 2017 at 2:54 pm

Hummus makes the world go round… I am confessed!!

Reply

Kamana@SocialandStyle May 8, 2017 at 7:10 pm

Thank you for sharing such a healthy and yummy recipe!

Reply

Khushboo May 18, 2017 at 2:55 pm

My pleasure, Kamana!

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