Oh falafel.. how I love you.
As a falafel lover I am already head over heels for traditional falafel, but I have to say that I’m especially fond of the taste of sweet potato falafel. It just takes things to the next level. If you’ve never had sweet potato falafel before, I’m telling ya, you’re in for a treat ;). Of course, as this is a health food blog, I haven’t fried these falafels, but instead cooked them in a pan to make them a little bit better for you ;). And really, they still taste great! I like to serve them with a lemon & tahini dip and some Millet Tabouleh with Pomegranate and Pine Nuts. The combination of these dishes, in my opinion, is just perfect.
I’ve also been stuffing wholegrain pita bread with these sweet potato falafels, together with some pickled veggies and coconut yoghurt tzatziki, but honestly, the combinations are endless and I can only encourage you to combine these babies with anything YOU like!
(makes: A LOT – about 16 – 18 falafels)
• 2 sweet potatoes
• 480 grams of cooked chickpeas (about 2 x 400 gr can)
• 6 tablespoons of chickpea flour
• 2 spring onions, chopped
• 4 cloves of garlic
• 2 tablespoons of tahini (sesame paste)
• 4 tablespoons of coconut oil (substitute for olive oil)
• 1 ½ limes (or about 1 lemon), squeezed
• 2 ½ teaspoon cumin
• 2 ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
• 1 ½ teaspoon turmeric
• 1 teaspoon cayenne or chili powder (or use a fresh chili)
• sea salt to taste
• pepper to taste
• Sesame seeds for rolling (about 100 grams)
• 2 tablespoons of tahini
• juice of 1 lemon
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 tablespoon maple syrup or local honey
• salt and pepper to taste
First, roughly chop the sweet potatoes, and steam for 15-20 minutes, or until completely soft.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Place the sweet potatoes and all the remaining ingredients (except for the chickpeas spring onions and sesame seeds) in a food processor, and blend until smooth. Add the chickpeas and spring onions, and blitz until well combined (it’s nice to have some chunky pieces of chickpeas in the mixture!).
Place the mixture in the fridge for about an hour at the least, preferably even longer! This will help the mixture firm up, and therefore easier to roll.
Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for the lemon & tahini dip.
After an hour, tip the sesame seeds on a plate. Take a scoop of the mixture and roll into a ball (about the size of a golf ball)*. Roll into the sesame seeds and set aside on a plate. Keep going until the mixture is used up. I like to “squish” my falafels down a bit so they’re a bit more flat. I feel this way they are easier to pan-fry.
Heat a tablespoon of (coconut) oil in a pan. When warm, place the falafels into the pan and cook until the bottom side has browned (about 3 minutes). Gently flip over to bake the other side.
Before eating, let the falafels cool down a bit, as they will firm up a little more when cooler.
*Tip: if the mixture is too sticky, sometimes it helps to roll the balls with wet hands. This way the mixture won’t stick as much to your hands.
© Feia Lydia Photography