I remember eating my first falafel as a part of an incredible spread in a Mediterranean restaurant when we were living in Michigan. How I fell hook, line and sinker for this cuisine…so delicious, wholesome, fresh and light. Ever since, I’ve been trying to recreate that experience at home and as a family, we’ve discovered we have an affinity for falafels and I am very very happy to oblige!
There are days when I want to make them in a more traditional way. Then there are times when I do a cheat non – authentic version and throw together cooked chickpeas ( there’s always a pack of those in my freezer) with whatever else I take fancy to and bake them off. In this recipe I added this fabulous organically grown red rice from Bakri Chaap and hey presto, these Baked Red Rice Falafels were born!
Falafels are very popular with vegetarians and vegans ( and the meat-eating fraternity too! 🙂 )as they are not only appetizing but also a rich source of protein, complex carbohydrates and fiber. Baking instead of frying them lowers the fat content considerably. Now in this recipe, red rice adds a boost of bulk, iron, antioxidants, various minerals and vitamins. It’s a low GI food like chickpeas, hence wonderful for diabetics. You can read a little more about it in one of my older posts Red Rice & Mango Salad .
Now I had no pita, burger buns or wraps the day I made them, so I decided to serve them family style with vegetables and some homemade beetroot hummus – garlic sautéed amaranth leaves ( chaulai saag), flash sautéed asparagus, cooked beetroot doused with a glug of olive oil and lemon juice, some olives and topped with toasted almonds. Like a big Buddha Bowl! I promise, nobody missed the bread even though we are HUGE on bread!! A chilled glass of white wrapped it up for us perfectly.
So bring the flavours of the Mediterranean to your table with these simple baked red rice falafels and have a splendid meal! Please leave a comment below and share a picture of your creation on INSTAGRAM using the hashtag #tashasartisanfoods. I’d love to hear from you!