BAKED PUMPKIN FALAFELS
Makes 15-20 falafel balls (which serves 5-6 people)
Vegan, gluten free
These falafels are the perfect use for leftover roast pumpkin. Be aware that they are wetter than traditional falafel because they use canned chickpeas. I love the convenience of just chucking a tin in and not worrying about soaking. Baking instead of deep frying means they’re super healthy and the roasted pumpkin gives them a slight sweetness. I make these using a food processor, which makes the process quick and simple. However, you could also mash by hand, just be sure to slice everything, especially the onions and garlic extremely finely.
1 cup roasted pumpkin, mashed
½ onion, roughly diced
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 cup fresh mint
½ cup fresh parsley
½ tsp salt
Juice of ½ lemon
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 tbsp tahini
2 cans drained chickpeas
2 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp sesame seeds, for sprinkling on top (optional)
Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Blend all the ingredients except the chickpeas, flour and sesame seeds in a food processor to form a rough paste. Add the chickpeas and pulse for a second or two at a time to roughly break them down, but don’t let them turn entirely into a paste. Season the mix to your taste. Stir in the cornflour. The mix should now be a thick, paste that is sticky, but can be scooped into rough balls. If your mix is too wet, add another spoonful of flour, though note the balls will firm up and ‘dry out’ significantly in the oven.
Using a large tablespoon, scoop golf-ball sized balls of falafel onto the tray, leaving space between each. I tend to let them be freeform shapes, but you can also form them into little ‘patty’ shapes or domes if you like. Sprinkle the falafels with sesame seeds, and drizzle over some extra olive oil.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, then flip all of the balls over, and cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until the falafels are golden brown and crisped on the outside. They will firm up a little more as they cool. Serve warm on a wrap, or with salad and tahini sauce.