Falafel recipe loaded with plant-based protein!

Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern food usually made with chickpeas in the Levant and with fava beans in Egypt, where it is called Ta'amiya.

In Lebanon, where I come from, Falafel are made from a mix of Fava beans and chickpeas :)

Today, I am thrilled to share with you the Lebanese version of Falafel loaded with plant-based protein.

First, let's start with the name. Why we called this dish "Falafel"?
The word Falafel is the plural of felfel, which means “chilli”. The word itself has spread and been used in other languages. It could come from the Aramaic “pilpāl” which means “little round, peppery thing”.
Thus, originally, falafels would be dumplings. In Lebanon, falafels are eaten in a sandwich with tarator sauce, tomatoes, parsley, radishes and pickled turnip. They are a perfect street food and we can found soo many snacks serving fresh falafel almost all day long!

So, how are falafel made?
Many of you might think that it is hard to prepare and cook Falafel, but let me bring you the good news: It is not hard at all.
Follow these steps and you will be the next falafel chef, with a healthy twist of course ;)

What do you need

-1/2 cup of dry chickpeas
-2 cups of dry fava beans
-2 tablespoons of sesame (optional)
-1 bunch of fresh organic parsley
-1 bunch of fresh organic coriander
-3 garlic cloves
-5 onions
-2 tablespoons salt
-2 tablespoons of spices for falafel -1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
-3 tablespoons baking powder (Yes, you read it right)
-5 tablespoons of olive oil
Sauce Tarator
-400g of tahini
-50ml lemon juice
-2 garlic cloves
-1 pinch of salt

Step by step

1. Soak dry chickpeas and fava beans in lukewarm water 12 hours in advance.
2. On the next day, remove them from the water and let the seeds dry.
3. Using a food processor, crush the Chickpeas and the fava beans
4. Once done, put the mix in a bowl and now crush the parsley, cilantro, garlic, and onions together.
5. Now, with you hands, mix the seeds and the vegetables, then add the falafel spices, salt, baking powder and sesame.

6. Add the baking soda and leave the mixture to rest for 30 min.
7. At this stage, you have two ways to make the falafel: The usual dumplings that you see (small patties or balls) or you can also cook the mixture as if it was a cake (this is something I tried recently and it worked well)
8. For both options, you need to heat the oven to 180 degrees (in the original recipe, the falafel needs to be fried, but to make the recipe healthier we opt for the baked one).
9. Use a baking tin (I used a glass one 16x27 cm). Grease it with two tbs of olive oil. 
10. Gradually spread the Falafel mixture in the tin. In term of thickness, make sure you have around 2 cm. 
11. Once the mixture is ready, drizzle the remaining olive oil on top and start cutting it like the photo below. This will allow the oil to enter the Falafel mixture.
12. Put the baking tin in the oven for 30 - 40 min. The falafel will take some color and it will be crispy.
Sauce Tarator
Now, to accompany this healthy falafel we need a healthy sauce :) the Tarator Sauce takes only 5 min to be made. And it is a cold sauce.
1. Gradually mix the tahini with the lemon juice.
2. Add the minced garlic, salt and mix well. You can manage the thickness of the sauce as you like by adding a little bit of water.

Time to eat!

Once the falafel are cooked and the sauce is ready, prepare some raw vegetables (tomatoes, parsley, oignons) and serve.

Enjoy and reach out to us on contact@thegreenaproject.com or on our instagram page if you need any guidance :)