Falafel is a Middle Eastern recipe that has a base of mashed Chick peas (Garbanzo beans). The spices, vegetable added to it and the method of cooking makes it to vary in taste from the basic one and will make a nutritious and whole some meal when served with Pita bread as they do in the Middle East. In fact it does taste like our very own Indian masal vada
. I have always deep fried the falafels and this time though I wanted to make a low fat falafel that’s also gluten free using my new paniyaram pan (Ebelskiver Mould) and see how it comes out. Usually I make it only with the chick peas but this time though added fresh broccoli to it and we enjoyed a healthy snack in the evening with the tahini sauce accompaniment.
I made a few changes to the basic tahini sauce as it happens to be a very bland one where as my family prefers a very spicy one. so after it was made not only it made a spicy hot dip for the falafel but also I managed to make it into a very good chutney that went very well with the dosa for our dinner.
As I did not deep fry the falafel, I partly cooked the chick peas and broccoli before hand so that the falafels will thoroughly get cooked in the kuzhi paniyaram pan and to ensure that they do not smell raw after cooking. You can skip pre cooking them both and use it raw if you are going to the deep fry or bake them.
|Low Fat Broccoli Falafel||
Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 30 mins | Makes: 12 to 14
For the Falafel:
For the Tahini sauce:
- Chick Peas (Garbanzo beans/kondakadalai) – 1 cup
- Broccoli florets – 1 small head
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
- Green chilies – 2
- Onion, small – 1
- Ginger – 1 inch piece
- Garlic – 5 pods
- Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
- Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp
- Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
- Black pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
- Roasted cumin powder – 1/4 tsp
- Chick peas flour (kadala maavu) – 2 tbsp
- Coriander leaves (Parsley) – 3 tbsp
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – 4 tbsp
- White Sesame seeds – 1/2 cup
- Freshly grated coconut – 4 tbsp (optional)
- Garlic – 2 pods
- Green chilies – 3 (optional)
- Yogurt (Curd) – 1/2 cup
- Lemon Juice – 2 tsp (See Notes)
- Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp
- Salt – to taste
For the Falafel:
1. Soak chick peas over night in enough water. The next day drain the water and rinse well.
2. Place it in a pressure cooker, add more water to cover them, add 2 pinch salt and cook for 2 to 3 whistles. They will only be partly cooked. (Skip this step if you are going to deep fry or bake the falafels). Drain and keep aside. Grate the broccoli and steam for 2-3 minutes. I microwaved @ high for 1 minute.
3. Now place the partly cooked chick peas, steamed broccoli and all the other ingredients except oil in a food processor and run it in equal intervals till they become a coarse paste. Do not overdo it and make it like a hummus. Use a spoon to mix in between if the mixture gets stuck. Do not use water. The moisture will be enough to grind and bind them together. Transfer to a bowl.
4. Make small ping pong sized balls from the mixture and keep it ready.
5. Heat a kuzhi paniyaram pan (Ebelskiver mould) and drizzle about 1/4 tsp oil in all the holes. Place the prepared balls and close with a lid. When the bottom gets browned enough, turn it over and let it cook the other side as well. When browned and cooked all over, remove them to a plate and continue with the rest of the batter. Serve hot.
For the Tahini Sauce:
6. Heat a pan and dry roast sesame seeds till they pop. Dry roast the grated coconut as well.
7. Place all the ingredients in a mixie or food processor and grind to a smooth fine paste.
8. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with hot Falafels.
1. After making the balls out of the batter, just press them lightly into patties and shallow fry them in a pan, if you do not have a kuzhi paniyaram pan.
2. If you wish to deep fry the Falafels, place the ground batter in the refrigerator for 3/4 – 1 hour so that the batter tightens and it will prevent them from breaking while you deep fry them.
3. I added some coconut to give some body to the sauce. Skip it if you do not wish to add it.
4. If the yogurt
is slightly sour, you can skip adding the lemon juice. If you do not wish to add curd, just use water for grinding and do not skip the lemon juice as it gives a wonderful tangy punch to the sauce.
5. If you do not happen to have chick pea flour, replace it with all purpose flour or whole wheat flour.