Falafels! A super healthy classic that never seems to go out of fashion. Originating from the Middle East as a bit of a staple food, they’ve rapidly caught on in the west, along with hummus. We see them on food trucks, in restaurants, cafes and even packaged in the supermarket these days.
Given how ridiculously easy they are to make, falafels are a lovely little thing to add to our home cooking repertoire.
I could share a regular falafel recipe here today, but I just couldn’t resist this one, with a gorgeous little yellow, turmeric twist. Understanding its health benefits, I find that it is very beneficial to include it in my cuisine regularly to help maintain and ensure ongoing health and wellness.
I’ve been buying fresh organic turmeric lately. Fresh turmeric has a more subtle, less intense taste compared to its dried, powdered version. This works nicely for falafels, complementing the coriander and cumin whilst adding a delightful hint of yellow (and some nice speckles of orange). You can, of course, use the dried stuff too for a more intense orangey infusion, but be aware that the dried is a little more intense, so go easy on the stuff.
Turmeric is one of the first plant-foods that people go to when they are looking to counteract major disease and illness in their lives. It’s powerful with a rich history of success both in the Eastern and Western worlds. Turmeric is thought to be much more effective than even the most powerful of anti-inflammatory drugs. A very welcomed benefit with turmeric is that you do not have to contend with the myriad of side effects that tend to come with pharmaceuticals.
Turmeric has some top-notch antioxidants happening. Antioxidants dramatically help to remove free-radicals from our bodies whilst, at the same time, enhancing the natural antioxidant abilities of our own body. Their rather helpful process slows down the aging process, whilst warding off disease and illness. A bit of a win-win!
Studies have shown that the curcuminoids in turmeric are very effective and finding and neutralising free radicals. It is also thought that turmeric can help to prevent the development of free radicals.
Regular use of turmeric in our daily lives (preferably along with other healthy lifestyle choices) could literally stave off all sorts of illness and disease thanks to the remarkable anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. There are also a tonne of other benefits.
I’ve written all about turmeric in this article here:
Everything you need to know about turmeric and it’s health benefits
I’ve tried to keep this recipe very simple. The main ingredient is chickpeas. You can buy these precooked. I prefer to cook up a fresh batch, use what I need for the recipe and then freeze the rest whenever possible (for taking out as and when required).
You’ll also need fresh garlic, ground coriander and cumin seed, sea salt, black pepper and of course fresh turmeric (although dried turmeric powder will work fine too).
It’s simply a case of blending all of the ingredients together. To blend you can use a hand blender, food processor or jug blender. If you have none of these then just thoroughly mash everything together, traditional style.
Once blended you will find that you have a consistency that holds together to perfection. Simply make mini patties or small falafel balls by compressing firmly and rolling in your hands.
Then pop them in the oven (or under the grill/broiler).
Serve immediately with tahini sauce.
Alternatively, let them go cold and enjoy in your lunchbox the next day with salad or in a sandwich.
Here is a lovely recipe for tahini sauce…
Please watch my video for a quick visual guide on how to make these and extra information that you’ll find helpful…
- 400g chickpeas (cooked)
- 1 large handful of fresh parsley
- 1 heaped teaspoon finely grated turmeric
- 1 heaped tablespoon ground coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
- A few twists of black pepper
- 1 large garlic clove
- Cook chickpeas in advance if needed. Alternatively buy pre-cooked and use those.
- Peel and finely grate a heaped teaspoon of turmeric.
- Chop the fresh parsley.
- Add all ingredients to bowl for blending and blend until everything comes together to a nice compressible texture. Use a hand blender, food processor or jug blender.
- Press and shape into 12 small patties or falafel 'balls'.
- Place on an oven tray and bake in the centre of an oven (pre-heated to 180C/ 350F) for about 25 minutes. You can also grill (USA: broil) instead - for about 7 minutes on each side. I prefer to grill them personally when possible, although baking can be handy at times too.
- Serve immediately with a tahini sauce.
- They also keep nicely for a few days and work well cold with salad or in a lunchbox.
- Please do watch my video (just above this recipe for more info and a super helpful visual guide).
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