In my ongoing quest to find foods that are both healthy and easy for toddlers to hold themselves, I decided to make falafels for Kenya. The only trick to this dish is to make them suitable for his little taste-buds without having to fry them in gallons of oil like most falafel recipes call for.
Falafels are made with a base of garbanzo beans, a legume also known as chickpeas. Have you ever looked closely at a chickpea? Some say they look like a chick’s beak, hence the name. Beak or no beak, they’re a powerhouse of fiber. Fiber is an important part of a little one’s diet because it tends to fill them up longer then other foods, giving them energy to run around and play. Garbanzo beans are an excellent vegetarian source of protein and are high in calcium, magnesium and folate.
I also added a little yogurt dipping sauce alongside this recipe which boosts the nutritional content of the meal even more and adds a little fun for the kids. Now, if I can only get my husband out of Kenya’s food, which is slowly becoming “their” food. My husband figures that if what Kenya’s eating is super healthy, he wants to eat it too. Like father, like son. Or should I say, like son, like father?!
We used these to make this recipe: Cuisinart DLC-2 Mini Prep Plus Food Processor
Falafel with Yogurt Tahini Sauce
- 1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 Garlic Clove
- 1/4 Cup onion, chopped
- 1/4 Cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 Cup parsley
- 1/2 Cup bread crumbs
- 1 Tsp cumin
- 1/2 Tsp kosher salt
- olive or canola oil for pan searing
- greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoos tahini
For the Falafel:
- Place the first 8 ingredients in a food processor and puree. Make sure the mixture is throughly combined. Scrape down the sides of the mixture as needed.
- With moist hands (so the mixture doesn’t stick to your hands) form patties using about 1 tablespoon of the mixture and place on a plate while you form the remaining patties.
- In a medium saute pan, heat around 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. You want the pan to have a thin coating of oil.
- Add half of the patties to the pan and saute for 4 minutes on each side or until golden (you may have to add a little more oil if your pan get too dry).
- Remove the patties from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate (to absorb any extra oil).
- Cook the remaining patties.
- Cool and serve with yogurt sauce.
For the Tahini Sauce:
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.
- To Freeze: After step 2, place patties on sheet tray and freeze for 30 minutes or until frozen then transfer to a ziploc bag,label and freeze up to 4 months. When ready, defrost in fridge for 24 hours and follow steps, 3-7.
I tried this recipe with canned chickpeas but they also were too dry to form patties. I added 1 egg and it became all perfect. Just wanted to check with you whether you add the water in the can or drain the chickpeas?
Hi Catherine , I tried this for dinner tonight but failed because when I put everything in to the processor but can’t process due to the dry ingredients, so I put a little bit water into the processor. But it turns out too soft for me to fry in the pan. Shouldn’t I put any water right?
Made this last night. The whole family enjoyed it. I did have to add about 2 tbsp or so of the yogurt tahini dip to the mixture to help it stay together before cooking in the pan. Super quick and easy and I will def make again! Thanks Catherine!
[…] Falafel with Yogurt Sauce. Going vegetarian one night this week. If you’ve never eaten a falafel, you must try it, and unlike others these are baked! […]
Catherine, I made these last night for dinner and used the recipe from your new Weelicious Lunch recipes book. These work well for dinner if you serve them with warm pitas, tzatziki sauce cucumbers and hummus. This is a keeper for sure. Congratulations on the new book. I found myself in a lunch rut most days and I found that your new book has given me inspiration most importantly. I love the sushi concept for pb&j.
Delicious! I left out fresh parsley because I don’t care for it (I know I am weird). It made 10 palmed sized patties. This was wonderful and super easy!, thank you!
I would use 1 tablespoon each of the dried herbs!
If you don’t have fresh parsley and/or cilantro how much dried would you put in the mixture?
That is an interesting approach! I have not tried that, but I think it just might work. If you try will you let me know your results?
Have you ever tried putting this mixture into a casserole dish & baking it & then cutting it into squares? Wondering how that would come out since I hate pan frying things.
To make these gluten free I used Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour instead of the bread crumbs and I just let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes and then formed into patties and cooked them in my nonstick ceramic pan (no oil) and they were wonderful!
Just found this recipe, which is great , so quick and cheap to make – though my two and a half year old was a bit bit suspicious of them at first. I actually cook them without oil by plonking them in the oven in a non-stick muffin tin. till turned out scrumptious.
These taste great, my 11 month old loves them! Falafals in general can be a bit dry so I added 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt to the mixture. They turn out perfect every time! Thanks!
Your chickpeas may have been a little dry or you just needed to puree them a little longer in the food processor. I’m afraid that if you had an egg white, it will get too liquid and will not hold together. Also if you mold them too thin , they will break. Did you use 1 tbsp at a time to make them?
Hi Catherine- I tried this recipe and followed the directions, but my patties came out (while delicious and golden) too soft and broke as soon as you picked them up. like it needed a binder?
Catherine!! These were so yummy!! Thank you so much! Miss V ate them ALL up…
[…] to prepare and take only minutes to cook. Their nutty flavor comes out even more when you add a yogurt tahini sauce for your little one to eat with it. Millet is one of the least allergic and most digestible grains. […]