Corn falafel with whipped feta (vegan friendly)

I love making my own falafels, they are so much better than store-bought. It just requires a little bit of planning, as you need to soak the dried chickpeas in water overnight. This corn falafel recipe makes about 28 small falafels. You want to make them with about 1 tablespoon of the falafel mixture. They are quite crumbly. If you make them bigger, they won’t hold their shape that well and break.

The falafels are plant-based but the sauce is not. So if you eat a plant-based diet, you can skip the feta and just make a plant-based yogurt sauce instead. Just mix ¾ cup of unsweetened soy yogurt with 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley, 1 tablespoon of lime juice and a pinch of celery salt. Then you can top it with Tajin seasoning or cayenne and lime zest.

This recipe makes about 28 small falafels.

Ingredients

For the corn falafel:

1 cup of dried chickpeas (Soaked in water overnight)

1 ½ tablespoon of olive oil

1 medium white onion, finely chopped

¾ cup of canned corn, drained 

Half a bunch of parsley

1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of onion powder

¾ teaspoon of garlic powder

¾ teaspoon of cayenne 

1 teaspoon of salt 

3 tablespoons of cornmeal 

For the whipped feta:

200grs of feta 

½ cup of unsweetened natural yogurt. I used soy yogurt.

Extras:

Tajin seasoning for sprinkling over the whipped feta. If you don’t have it, you can use a sprinkle of cayenne and lime zest instead. 

Chopped parsley to sprinkle over the whipped feta. 

Vegetable oil for frying the falafel. I shallow fry it in about ½ cup of oil.

The night before, soak 1 cup of dried chickpeas with water. You want to soak them for about 24 hours before making the falafels.

Place the olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat and add the finely chopped white onion.

Cook it for 5-6 minutes while stirring till it caramelizes.

Add the corn and cook for another minute. 

Place the corn and onion in the food processor and blitz it for 2-3 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times in between. 

Add the drained chickpeas and the remaining ingredients for the falafel into the food processor along with the corn mixture. Blitz for 30 seconds and then stir. Do this a few times until you have a crumbly texture, you don’t want it to become a paste. See the picture below for reference.

Place the mixture in a bowl and let it rest for 15 minutes while you make the sauce.

To make the whipped feta: Place the feta and yogurt in the food processor and blitz until smooth. Keep it covered in the fridge until ready to use.

Once the 15 minutes for the falafel mixture is up, start shaping it. 

I do it by hand. Using your hand, clump together about 1 tablespoon of the mixture to compress it. Then shape it into a ball or small patties. This will make about 28 falafels.

Pour the vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry them in batches for about 2 minutes per side until golden brown on both sides. Be careful when you place and remove the falafels from the pan. The mixture is crumbly, so you want to be delicate when touching it. 

Place the fried falafels on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.

To serve, place the falafels in a plate or bowl. Garnish the whipped feta with a sprinkling of Tajin seasoning and parsley. Enjoy!

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Sweet Potato Falafel Salad

FullSizeRenderOn Sunday we visited the Japanese cherry blossom park at the Amsterdamse bos. It’s one of those things I look forward to every spring. The weather was just perfect that day! Sunny and warm. People brought their picnics and were chilling on the grass. It’s a beautiful place around this time of the year and very close to Amsterdam.

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I had been craving falafel and I made this one by adding mashed roasted sweet potato to the chickpea mixture. It adds a slight sweetness to it. I served them over a very simple salad with baby Swiss chard, Kalamata olives, cucumber and feta. It’s healthy, easy to make and filling.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the sweet potato falafel:

1 cup of dried chickpeas, soaked in water overnight

1 bunch of parsley

1 cup of mashed roasted sweet potato

½ teaspoon of onion powder

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of celery salt

Juice of ½ a lime

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of salt

For the salad:

1 cucumber, core removed and thinly sliced

100grs of crumbled feta

100gr of Kalamata olives, sliced

100grs of baby Swiss chard or any leafy greens of your choice

Garden cress (optional)

For the dressing:

1/3 cup of olive oil

¼ cup of white vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon of honey

1 teaspoon of mustard

Salt

Extra:

Olive oil for pan-frying the falafel

 

To make the sweet potato falafel, soak the dried chickpeas in enough water overnight. For the sweet potato, you can roast it the night before, mash it and keep it in the fridge. Roast 1 medium sweet potato at 180C/350F for 1 hour.

The next day, drain the chickpeas and place all of the ingredients for the falafel in the food processor. Pulse until everything is well combined and there are not big chunks, but not too fine that it becomes a puree. You want it to still have some texture.

Then grab some of the mixture and form it into a ball using the palm of your hands. I grabbed about 1 ½ tablespoons of the mixture. It makes about 25 small balls.

Once all the falafels are assembled, pour about 1/3 of a cup of olive oil into a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the falafel in batches until lightly browned. This will take about 5 minutes per batch. Just be careful not to press on them too much while turning them so that they don’t break apart.

To make the dressing just place all of the ingredients in a jar with a lid, close it and shake it until it emulsifies.

In a large bowl, mix the sliced cucumber, crumbled feta, Kalamata olives, baby Swiss chard and garden cress. Add the dressing and toss to coat.

Divide the salad among 3 plates and then add the falafel. Enjoy!

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Falafel with Beet & Potato Mash

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A couple of weeks ago we were doing errands around the city center and we got very hungry. A falafel place which we both like was not very far, so we decided to stop there for lunch. It has been ages since we had falafels and it reminded me of how much I like them. Since the holidays are approaching, I thought they would make a good vegetarian dish to serve. To make them a bit more festive, I served them with a beet and potato mash.

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This recipe makes 25 falafels.

Ingredients:

For the mash:

800gr of potatoes for mash like Russets

3 roasted beets, peeled and chopped

Pinch of onion powder

Pinch of garlic powder

Salt

For the falafel:

1 ½ cups of dried chickpeas, soaked overnight

1 bunch of parsley

1 bunch of coriander

½ teaspoon of onion powder

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of lemon pepper

1 tablespoon of harissa or more to taste

1 ½ teaspoon of salt

Pinch of cumin or more to taste

7 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

Extras:

1 ½ cups of vegetable oil

2 cups of panko

 

The night before, place the chickpeas in a large bowl with plenty of cold water and let them soak overnight.

To make the mash, first roast the beets until tender. I just wrapped each one in foil with a drizzle of olive oil and roasted them for 1.5 hours at 180C/350F. Then peel them and chop them.

Boil the potatoes until tender. Then peel them.

Place the cooked potatoes and beets in the food processor. Add salt, onion powder and garlic powder. Pulse until it is very smooth. You can leave it like this or if you want it extra smooth you can pass it through a sieve.

Drain the soaked chickpeas and place them in the food processor with the rest of the ingredients for the falafels. Pulse until everything is well combined; just make sure not to puree it. You still want to keep some texture. Transfer the mixture into a bowl.

Place the panko on a separate plate.

Start making balls with the falafel mixture, about the size of 1 tablespoon. Coat each ball in the panko and then flatten it. Repeat for the remaining mixture.

Pour the oil into a large pan over medium heat. Have a large plate lined with paper towels ready.

Pan-fry the falafels until golden on both sides. Place them on the prepared plate to soak up some of the oil.

Serve the falafels with the potato and beet mash, and the sauce of your choice.

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