Skip The Frying And Transform Canned Chickpeas Into Baked Falafel Cakes

Falafels are deep-fried, aromatic morsels that areĀ found in the Middle East and North Africa as a popular type of street food. Typically made from chickpeasĀ (although they can be created using fava beans), falafels are made with herbs and spices that are mixed into the chickpea batter and fried. While they're delicious on their own, the deep-fried pieces can be eaten with pita, hummus, or a Greek-style seven-layer salad.

The vegan dish is an excellent source of protein and fiber, while still tasting amazing. The chickpeas lend it an earthy, nutty flavor and spices, such as coriander, cumin, and cayenne, make falafel fragrant. They also have a crispy coating while remaining light and soft on the inside.

Deep frying, as well as not using canned chickpeas for falafel, is what gives it that texture. If you want something that's soft and decadent throughout, try baking your falafel instead. A healthier take on the dish, baking it into a cake or several mini cakes, gives it a softer yet slightly crispy texture.

How to make baked falafel

Dried chickpeas are traditionally used when making chickpeas, but you can opt for the canned version when baking. Take the canned chickpeas, as well as chopped onions, parsley, a beaten egg, salt, and spices. Place it all in the food processor. A blender would make the paste too creamy, so if you don't have a food processor, mash everything together with a fork or with a mortar and pestle.

With everything properly mixed together, get a skillet and coat it with olive oil. Transfer the falafel mix to the pan and brush the top with oil. You can cook it on the stove for about five minutes for a crispier outside or place it in the oven straight away. Let it bake for around 20 minutes.

Drizzle extra virgin olive oil and tahini over your slice of falafel cake. It can be enjoyed on its own or as part of a mezze spread with kebabs, stuffed olives, grapes, and baba ghanoush.