I think it’s important for everyone to have a staple falafel recipe in their arsenal, and this is mine. This recipe is actually a year in the making, ever since I tried the sweet potato falafel at We Love Falafel in Brighton (@welovefalafel). It quickly became one of my favorite foods, so naturally I had to create a recipe that allowed me to eat it whenever I wanted. That being said, the recipe-making process was a bit tricky along the way.
During my first round of making falafel, I decided to just wing it. Big mistake. The flavor was great, but the consistency was way off, and they disintegrated whenever I tried to fry them. A couple of more tries after that, and it still wasn’t hitting the mark of quality I wanted. So back to the drawing board I went, until I arrived at this recipe that I’m quite proud of.
One thing I’ll say though, is that this recipe calls for canned chickpeas rather than dried chickpeas soaked in water. From my research, it appears to be universally better to used dried chickpeas, but canned chickpeas were all had in my pantry. Plus, I based this recipe on what I typically have in my kitchen at all times. I may tweak the recipe at some point with dried chickpeas, but until then I will proudly share these canned chickpea falafels. Especially when paired with the other elements of my Mezze Platter Series (Coming Soon), this recipe is high on my list of favorites.
Sweet Potato Falafel
Makes 14-16 Falafel Balls
- 1 sweet potato, about 400 g
- 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and patted dry
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
- Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
- 2 tsp agave
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2-3 tbsp flour
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Bake the sweet potato or cook it in the microwave until fork tender. Allow it to cool, then scoop the flesh out and set aside.
- In a food processor, add the cooked sweet potato, chickpeas, cilantro, mint, lemon juice, agave, salt, cumin, onion, and baking powder. Pulse until combined, but be sure not to over process. You want to make sure there is still texture.
- Transfer to a large bowl, and add the flour as needed. It must be able to hold it’s form when pressed into a ball. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- After chilling, remove the mixture from the refrigerator and begin forming it into approximately 2 inch sweet potato falafel balls. You can also flatten the falafels into more of a patty shape as I did, which is better suited for sandwiches.
- Heat 1 inch of oil in a pan over a medium flame. I don’t have a thermometer, but to test if the oil is hot enough, simply place the end of a toothpick in the oil. If the oil bubbles around the toothpick, it is hot enough for frying.
- To begin frying, test one of your falafels in the oil. If it disintegrates, you need to add more flour to the mixture. If the falafel is staying intact, then shallow fry for two minutes on each side. Start adding multiple falafels at a time, depending on the size of your pan. Be sure not to over crowd. Repeat the process for all of the falafel, then remove from the oil and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Let sit for 2-5 minutes before serving.
Other recipes in this series:
Lemon Paprika Roasted Potatoes (Coming Soon)16