Falafel balls are an essential ingredient in a falafel wrap or a Lebanese meze. Whenever I make falafel at home I like to bake it instead of frying it. I like fried falafel too and often eat it in restaurants. I made an original twist on the recipe for falafel balls by using the flesh of an eggplant and asafoetida instead of the classic onion. Eggplant replaces the volume that the onion adds and asafoetida mimics the onion taste.
I love eating these falafel balls with other dishes that form a Lebanese meze or Lebanese bowl: tabbouleh salad, fattoush salad, hummus, baba ganoush, tahini sauce, pita bread and tahini and carob molasses. A practical tip: if you’re making baba ganoush along with these balls, you can combine the roasting of the eggplant in both recipes and do it in one batch.
Baked Falafel (V, GF)
- 100 g dry chickpeas soaked in water for 8 hours
- approx. 70 g eggplant measured uncooked with skin on
- 26 g fresh parsley
- 3 leaves fresh mint
- 15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil plus additional 1 tsp for brushing
- 15 ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice
- 4 g (1 tsp) chickpea flour
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp asafoetida
- 1/4 tsp salt
- a pinch of black pepper
- Soak dry chickpeas in water for 8 hours before you start making the recipe.
- Cut the top green part off the eggplant. Then cut eggplant in half lengthwise. Put one or both halves (depending on the size of an eggplant) on a baking tray so that the cut side is facing up. Brush the top side with a little bit of olive oil. Roast at 180 °C for 40 min.
- When the roasting is done, take it out and let it cool a little bit. Then scoop the flesh out with a spoon, discard the skin. Put flesh of the eggplant into a blender. Put also parsley (mostly the leaf parts), mint, 1 tbsp of olive oil, lemon juice, chickpea flour, cumin, coriander, baking powder, asafoetida, salt and pepper in a blender. Then add chickpeas to the blender (discarding the water). Mix and press the mixture down with a stick so that everything is broken down evenly. Mix until chickpeas are broken down fairly good, leaving just a little bit of chunks here and there.
- Divide the mixture into 8 equal parts. Form 8 balls with your hands and place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Brush the outer side of balls with 1 tsp of olive oil.
- Bake balls at 205 °C for 15 min then turn balls around and bake another 5-10 min.