Baked Falafel with Tamarind Yogurt Chutney

Baked Falafel with Tamarind Yogurt Chutney

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Chow Vegan hit my radar today and while browsing though her site, I found a recipe for baked falafel. Of course, I can never follow a recipe exactly – either I don’t have all the ingredients or I think it would be better a different way, so of course, I embellished this one a bit in the herb department. I have lots of herbs in my garden, but none of the ones specified in the original recipe. Also, after hearing David Kessler’s piece about his new book, I decided to try to cut back on sodium a little with this recipe. I used about 1 tsp. in the falafel, but my taste buds would like more.

The chutney idea comes from Madhur Jaffrey’s book, World Vegetarian, and of course I embellished there as well. She includes fresh ginger and fresh chile, which I can’t believe, I am out of at the moment. I used a dried chile del arbol instead, and I am sure the fresh would be better.

Falafel Ingredients:

  • 3-4 cups garbanzo beans
  • 1 medium onion
  • 5 large garlic cloves
  • mixed fresh herbs ( I used 2 sprigs mint, 6 sage leaves, 1 sprig rosemary, 4 basil leaves, 1 sprig chervil)
  • Juice 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. crushed pepper flakes
  • 4 Tbs. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

I added the garbanzo beans last and tried to leave them fairly chunky. Everything else can be well chopped using a food processor. Start with the onion and garlic and chop. Then add all the other ingredients except the beans. Pulse until everything is well mixed. Add the beans and pulse just a little until they are chopped, but not totally pureed.

These can be formed into any shape you prefer. Traditional falafel are formed into balls, but can be made into patties for an easier-to-eat sandwich. I have appetizers on my brain, so I made them in the shape of little sticks to dip in the Tamarind Yogurt Chutney. I baked them on a greased cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes until they were brown on the bottom. Then I turned them over and baked for another 15 minutes.

Tamarind Yogurt Chutney

  • 2 Tbs. tamarind paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground hot pepper
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin

For the original recipe, I used a prepared tamarind chutney. If you use fresh tamarind paste, you will need to cook the above ingredients at a simmer until the chutney is reduced by about half. Here is a very informative YouTube demo for tamarind chutney from “Show Me the Curry.”

In a separate bowl mix the yogurt ingredients.

  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 sprig mint chopped
  • 1 scallion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. ground hot pepper (better yet, use 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh green chile)
  • Fresh ground black pepper

After the yogurt ingredients are mixed, the idea is to mix the two dips leaving a little swirl pattern in the dish. I mixed in only about 1/4 of the tamarind chutney, which considering all the sugar, gave me a little relief!

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