Baked Falafels with Mint Tzatziki

Deliciously crispy on the outside, wonderfully soft on the inside, these freshly baked falafels are brilliant for sharing. And make for lovely portable snacks, should there be any leftovers.

MAKES 12-14

VEGETARIAN 

Here's how you do it

1.       Start by finely chopping your onions and garlic and throw in a frying pan on a medium heat with a glug of olive oil and the smoked paprika. Stir until they soften, and become nicely glazed, then remove from the heat.

2.       Now, empty your drained chickpeas into your food processor or a bowl, should you be using a submersion blender (get one, they’re amazing!) and add the spices, spinach and flax. Throw in your fried onions and now blend everything until smooth.

3.       Finely chop your coriander and add this and the oats to the blended chickpeas and mix thoroughly by hand, which will thicken up your mixture nicely.

4.       Once it is all combined, grease a large baking tray and get stuck in with the falafel mix.

5.       Mould the mixture into balls (roughly the size of golf balls) and place on the tray and gently push them down to create a pattie each time. They don’t tend to spread, so you can pack them in quite tight.

6.       Brush the tops with oil and now bake them for 15 minutes at 180 degrees, turning once after this time and then pop them back in the oven for a further 15 minutes until gently browned and crispy. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

7.       During the last 15 minutes, make your tzatziki. Start by emptying the yoghurt into a bowl.

8.       Now, grate your cucumber and place it all in the middle of a clean tea towel, and squeeze all the juice out, otherwise the tzatziki will be rather watery. Pop the cucumber in with the yogurt, add the mint sauce and mix together.

9.       Finally add your finely chopped fresh mint and stir once more and serve with the warm falafels.

The falafels keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Simply warm them up again in the oven before eating, should you wish. The dip does keep for a day, but be sure to stir thoroughly prior to serving; however, it is best eaten fresh.

I adore falafels, but often find them quite dry and difficult to digest, so I added the spinach to help soften them up. Fear not though, as they are only soft in the middle, as the outside is wonderfully crispy, the contrast works well.

We love these as snacks, experimenting with various dips, in a wrap, crumbled onto salads, in the traditional pitta with fresh tomatoes and lettuce or alongside our Caramelised Onion Hummus. Ooh, and perfect for packed lunches too.

Ingredients

  • Two onions
  • Two cloves of garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • One can of chickpeas (400g)
  • Big handful of spinach, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp asafoetida
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground flax/ linseed (optional – great for vegan diets)
  • 50g steel cut oats
  • Big handful of fresh coriander
  • Extra virgin olive oil to brush

For the tzatziki:

  • 350g Greek style yogurt
  • One cucumber
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp mint sauce (optional, but adds more of a punch)

What’s in this recipe