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 flavors 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!
Simple Baked Red Rice Falafel
- 2 cups Chickpeas, cooked
- 2 cups Red rice, cooked
- 2 Green chilllies, roughly chopped
- 5-6 cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
- Small handful coriander/cilantro, roughly chopped you could use parsley
- 1.5 tsp Coriander powder
- 1 tsp Chilli powder optional
- 2 tsp Cumin powder
- 2 tsp Lemon juice and zest
- Salt to taste
- 3-4 Tbsp Black & white sesame seeds for topping
- 1 Tbsp Vegetable oil
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or foil.
- Combine chickpeas, green chillies, garlic and fresh coriander in a food processor. Pulse until incorporated. Keep a little texture though, don't let it turn to a paste.
- Take it out in a large bowl, add red rice, spices, lemon juice, zest and salt. Mix it all together with your hands. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
- Spread out the sesame seeds in a plate. Put some oil in your hands and form into 15-16 equal sized patties. Roll the patties in the sesame seeds. Lay them out on your prepared tray. You can refrigerate these for later use at this point. Brush with oil on both sides. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning them once halfway.
- Serve them warm with hummus or any dip you like with pita and whatever vegetables you like to make a complete family style meal. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an air tight container for 2-3 days.