Bombdiggity Baked Falafel
1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 to 3/4 pound dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 tablespoon egg replacer (I used the eggless binder powder:
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/3 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/3 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, optional
1. In a dry blender or food processor, whirl oatmeal into a fine powder; dump in a large mixing bowl. Drain chickpeas, and pat dry. A handful or two at a time, grind them in the blender/ food processor until they're a fairly fine mealy texture, with no large chunks visible. Mix with the ground oatmeal.
2. Mix the egg replacer with the 4 tablespoons water, stirring until there are no white lumps (I also send this mixture through the blender for a few seconds). Set aside. Add flour, sesame oil, herbs, and spices to chickpea mixture, and stir well to combine.
3. Stir in egg replacer, and mix well. Let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes for the oatmeal/ egg replacer/ flour molecules to do their binding magic. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F, and line an 11 X 17" pan with parchment paper (you can oil the pan with sesame oil instead, but they may be harder to flip).
4. Tightly squeeze falafel mix with your hands, to make about 1 1/2” balls, and place in a single layer on baking sheet, with sides not touching each other (For crispier falafel, flatten them slightly between your palms to make small patties instead of balls.)
5. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, flip falafels over, and return to oven. Increase heat to 400 degrees F and bake10- 15 minutes more, until edges are golden brown and crisp-looking. Serve on warm flatbread wraps with fresh spinach and hummus, and at least two kinds of olives. Yummy!
** When you start the chickpeas soaking, the night before you want falafel, throw the remaining 1/3-1/2 bag into the crock pot with 6 cups or so of water; cook on low overnight, and you'll be all set to make hummus to go with your falafel... perfect! For easier prep, I also chop the herbs and blend up the spice mixture the night before, and store them in separate containers in the fridge to dump them in the chickpea bowl when ready.
*** These are best served right away; if you need to save part of the batch for later, remove from the oven after the first 25 minutes, and bake 15 minutes or so at 400 degrees F right before serving. Otherwise they're ok, but lose their nice crispiness on the outside.
These hold together really well, and could be fried also; I think they'd do well as larger 'chickpea burgers' too. If you try this before I do, please report back!
Source of recipe: I hate frying things, for the fattiness and for the hassle of constant tending. I played around with the ingredients and technique a little, and liked how this version came out. Not saying this is better than my favorite Greek restaurant's falafel; but I liked it as much as other homemade recipes I've tried, and it was way easier, so I thought I'd share!