When you’re craving the spiced flavor and crispy texture of falafel but don’t have time to spend on dinner, make this recipe for family falafel with tahini yogurt. It comes from Rosie Reynolds’s new cookbook, The Shortcut Cook All in One, and it’s an ingenious way to recreate the crunch of the Mediterranean meal without forming balls or deep-frying.
“This dish is such a hit in our family,” she writes, “as it’s delicious to eat and so easy to prepare. Getting the pan nice and hot creates a crunchy base layer, which is then gently exposed during cooking to crisp up even more. If we’re trying to reduce our bread intake, we have this mix on top of a large chopped salad. The tahini yogurt is the stuff of dreams and also works very well as a dip for crisped pitas and crunchy veg.”
Excerpted with permission from The Shortcut Cook All in One by Rosie Reynolds, published by Hardie Grant Books, February 2023.
Oven-Baked Super-Green Falafel
Two 14-ounce cans chickpeas, drained
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon sumac, plus extra to serve
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
Garlic Tahini Sauce
3½ ounces Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons tahini
1 garlic clove, grated
Pita bread or wraps
Zoug or hot sauce (or both)
Chopped cucumber, lettuce and tomato
½ red onion, sliced
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Make the Falafel: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the chickpeas, 1 teaspoon salt, the garlic, onion, ground coriander, sumac and paprika three to four times until everything is combined and the chickpeas are mostly broken down, but with some remaining whole. Add the cornstarch and herbs, and pulse once more to incorporate them. Set aside.
3. Pour the olive oil into a 12-by-8-by-2-inch baking dish, add the cumin seeds and warm in the oven for about 3 minutes. Carefully spoon the chickpea mixture into the dish, stirring in the cumin seeds as you go. Gently spread everything out, leaving the surface craggy and uneven. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top and return to the oven to cook for 25 minutes, gently turning the falafel over with a spoon halfway through cooking to create an uneven texture and so the bottom crunchy layer is on top.
4. Make the Garlic Tahini Sauce: Meanwhile, mix together the yogurt, tahini and garlic with a good pinch of salt in a bowl until smooth. Set aside.
5. To serve, warm the pitas or wraps in the hot oven, spoon on the falafel and a dollop of tahini yogurt, add some zoug or hot sauce and salad and eat with pickles and sliced red onion.