Since I’m completely obsessed with hummus, falafel is also one of my favourite foods as it is basically the same ingredients. Instead of a creamy dip, a delicious blend of chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, cumin and coriander are all rolled into a ball and baked in the oven. In this recipe, I have added sweet potato which makes the falafel even more delicious. Roasting the sweet potato beforehand in some olive oil brings out their rich sweetness.
If you prefer, you can make a simple chickpea falafel by simply leaving out the sweet potato. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, try substituting the sweet potato for another vegetable such as beetroot.
Sweet Potato and Chickpea Falafel
- 225g chickpeas (dried weight) or 2 x 400g tinned chickpeas
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- handful of fresh coriander
- 2 tbsp tahini
- juice of 1 lemon
- 4 tsp tamari
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tbsp wholemeal spelt flour or gram flour
If using dried chickpeas, you need to prepare the chickpeas the night before. Soak the chickpeas in a saucepan of water for 8-12 hours. Drain the chickpeas into a colander and transfer back to the saucepan with fresh water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the chickpeas for 1 hour 10 minutes until they are tender. Drain the chickpeas into a colander.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan oven).
Prepare the sweet potatoes by peeling the skins and the flesh into small chunks. Transfer the sweet potatoes into a roasting tray and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil. Roast the sweet potatoes in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the chunks are slightly crisp at the edges. When cooked, remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and set aside to cool.
Whilst the sweet potatoes are roasting, place the chickpeas, coriander, tahini, lemon juice and tamari in a food processor and process until the ingredients are well combined and the chickpeas are broken up.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the spices and flour. Mash the sweet potato and add to the rest of the ingredients in the large bowl.
Turn the oven temperature down to 180°C (fan oven).
Lightly grease a baking tray with olive oil. Scoop a heaped tbsp of the falafel mixture into your hand and form a small ball. Place each falafel ball on the baking tray. Repeat with the rest of the mixture. Depending on how big you make each ball, you should have about 10-15 falafels.
Bake the falafels for 20 minutes until they are slightly browned and firm on the outside. Baking time will depend on your oven and the size of the falafel balls.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before serving.
You can serve the falafel balls wrapped in lettuce leaves with chopped tomatoes and cucumber. Alternatively, enjoy with a selection of dips including my hummus or mint pea dip and fresh vegetables and flat breads.