Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sweet Potato Falafel

The falafel odyssey continues as I incorporate as many vegetables as possible into these delightfully delicious spheres of goodness. This has also been an opportunity to experiment with baking rather than frying as I know there are many people that are a bit unsure about frying.

In reading I've noted that some of the complaints with baking is that they don't crisp up as much as they would if they were fried. Unfortunately, I think you do need to use a certain amount of oil to get that affect but the good thing is that most of the oil will be left behind on the baking tray.

These particular falafel have been rolled in a mix of regular breadcrumbs, panko and sesame seeds - seeds sesame contain a fair amount of oil and in using them the theory is that baking will release their natural oil and help to crisp the falafel. Similarly, panko was used as it innately gives you an extra crispy texture to any crumbed item.

sweet potato falafelĀ© by haalo

Sweet Potato Falafel

250 grams grated sweet potato
400 gram can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 red onion, roughly chopped
10 sage leaves
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
sesame seeds

Steam the grated sweet potato for 2 minutes to just soften it slightly. I have taken this step as a precaution to ensure that the potato will be cooked - especially if are frying these rather than baking.

Place the onion, sage leaves, paprika, cumin and baking powder into a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the chickpeas and sweet potato and process again until finely chopped.

Put the mixture into a bowl and add in a lightly whisked egg - stir to amalgamate before adding just enough breadcrumbs to create a malleable mix.

Take small amounts of the mix and roll into balls or for a quicker and more even result, use a small ice cream scoop to form the falafel.

Roll each ball into a mixture of breadcrumbs, panko and sesame seeds - I roughly used equal quantities of breadcrumb and panko and added enough sesame seeds to speckle the mixture. You could if you wanted, roll them completely in just the sesame seeds.

sweet potato falafelĀ© by Haalo

Store the falafel on kitchen towel lined containers in the fridge if you don't intend cooking them straight away.

Take a baking tray and line it with baking paper or silicon sheet. Drizzle oil on the paper and spread it roughly over the paper. Add the balls and roll them around to moisten.

Bake in a preheated 180°C/350°F oven for at least 30 minutes - check after 10 minutes and give them a shake to turn them over. Check again at 20 minutes and rearrange if necessary. Continue checking every 10 minutes until they golden. You will notice that oil will be released as they cook so once they are done, place them on kitchen paper to remove any excess oil.

sweet potato falafelĀ© by Haalo

Here they are sitting on their perfect partner - tabbouleh. They did have a good crisp shell around a moist interior.

There's one thing I did not do - I didn't actually fry these so I could make a direct comparison - I'll leave that as an excuse to make another batch!


  1. Oh my! This sounds SO GOOD. I love anything with sweet potato and anything, even vaguely, middle eastern. I'm definitely going to have to try these. Gorgeous pictures, too! I'm adding you to my blogroll!

    Oakley at lemonbasil

  2. Should I fal-aw-fel that I haven't done these falafels yet? ;)

    I should really do these soon, because I'm craving some chickpeas.

  3. i made something akin to these when i didn have enough carrots to make your carrot falafels! I also threw in some left over hommous into the mix. YUM My daughters vege friend even asked for the recipe so i pointed her to your site.

  4. Thank you Oakley, that is lovely of you!

    You'll have to answer those cravings JS or you really will fal-aw-fel ;)

    Thanks Kel - they really are so versatile!

  5. I love how you incorporated the sweet potato into the falafel concept. The fact that you were able to get a crispy exterior with baking is wonderful. I'm going to have to try those. Can't resist a good falafel.:-)

  6. okay, regular falafel is magnificent, but this particular version is off-the-charts fabulous. nicely done!

  7. I'm really enjoying your falafel explorations. They look much tastier than the falafel mix I used recently - quick but not all that yummy.

  8. Another beauty! w00t
    Going to try your recipe out tonight.
    I've been ranting to everyone from Sydney to Canberra about your blog.

  9. AnonymousJuly 30, 2008

    These look fantastic . . . and it does look like they're crispy without frying.

  10. Thanks Alexa - they can get a bit addictive.

    Thanks Grace!

    Thanks Judith - i'm considering another variation.

    Thank you Jenna for the lovely words!

    Thanks Lia!

  11. Wow. Your pictures look good enough to eat! Seriously. If I wasn't having a snack when I came across your blog, I might have eaten my laptop.

  12. I love to look at new falafel recipes! very tasty looking! :)

    I love your lovely yummy blog btw! I was more of a lurker really..but no more! lol

  13. Thanks MsC - i'd only advise eating a laptop if it's an apple ;)

    Thanks Tal and welcome!

  14. Lovely, wrapped them in a tortilla with a salsa and tahini mint yoghurt. Lovely :)

  15. Thanks Theresa - happy to hear that you enjoyed them!

  16. AnonymousMay 10, 2009

    AMAZING! these were truly delicious.

    They were still crisp even though they weren't fried.

    Thanks for the recipe.

  17. Thanks for this one! Made these tonight, they are SO good. I was worried the sweet potato would not firm up, but they were spot on. I baked them and didn't steam the sweet potato beforehand. Will be making this again.

  18. Thanks Narelle - glad you enjoyed them!


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