Oven-Baked Falafel with Tahini Yogurt Sauce

A lighter, make-at-home version of the classic Middle Eastern street food. Whip this up on a weeknight, or save and make for a party snack. Either way, you’ll have some pretty excited eaters on your hands.

The suggested accompaniments may seem like a strange combination, but they really work together so please give it a go. Set down a platter of crispy falafel with all the bits and pieces and let people get involved.

Feeds 4 as a main, up to 8 as a snack

Ingredients

For the falafel:

1 tin chickpeas, drained

1 tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp cumin

1 heaped tbsp flour

Big pinch of salt and pepper

Olive oil (approx. 1 tbsp)

For the tahini sauce:

1 clove garlic, finely minced or grated

Juice 1 lemon

1/2 tsp cumin

1 heaped tbsp tahini

Big pinch of salt and pepper

1 cup thick Greek yogurt

To serve: pita breads, wedges of tomato, pickled gherkins/cucumbers, pickled red cabbage from a jar, thinly sliced red onion, fresh parsley, and fresh red chilli (optional)

Method:

Preheat the oven to 425F / 220C / 200C Fan. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and rub the parchment with a little olive oil. Set aside.

To make the falafel, add the falafel ingredients except the olive oil to a food processor and blitz until you have a rough puree. (Some bits of rubble are good.) Lightly wet your hands and roll the mixture into 12 – 15 balls. Transfer the balls to the prepared baking tray. Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil into a small bowl and use a pastry brush to lightly coat each of the falafel with a little oil. Bake for 40 minutes, flipping the balls over halfway.

Make ahead: Falafel can be rolled into balls and refrigerated for up to 2 days before baking. Brush with olive oil just before baking.

To make the sauce, add the garlic, cumin, tahini, salt, pepper and half the lemon juice to a bowl, stirring until smooth. (Remember to give the tahini a good stir before adding.) Once smooth, add the yogurt. Give everything a good stir and taste, adding more lemon until it tastes really fresh.

Make ahead: Sauce can be prepared up to 24hrs in advance. Keep refrigerated.

To serve, smear some of the sauce on a warmed pita bread and smash in two or three falafel. Top with wedges of tomato, gherkins, pickled red cabbage, red onion, lots of fresh parsley and a small sprinkling of chilli, adding a couple small dollops more sauce on top. Wrap up and dive in.

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