Recipe for crispy golden-orange baked Sweet Potato and Chickpea Falafels seasoned with spices and served with a simple, tangy sauce
2/3 cup dried chickpeas (2 cups cooked)
1 medium sweet potato
1 large clove garlic, minced or crushed
1 shallot, minced (or replace with 1 small onion)
2 green chilies, seeded and minced
handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
3 tablespoons chickpea flour (besan), or more as needed
1 1/4 cups plain yoghurt
1/4 cup tahini
juice from 1 lemon (3 tablespoons)
sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Rinse the chickpeas and soak for 8 hours or overnight in several cm’s of water. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a medium saucepan and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until buttery soft. Drain and transfer to a food processor.
Meanwhile, scrub the sweet potato and roast in a 425F/215C oven for 35 minutes or until fork tender. Let cool and then remove the skin.
Add the garlic, shallot, chilies, parsley, ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric, paprika, ground cardamon, olive oil and salt to the food processor. Pulse for a minute or so until everything is combined and the chickpeas are reduced to rough crumbs. Add the sweet potato and process further until combined.
Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and stir in the chickpea flour. The mixture should be fairly soft. Add more chickpea flour if the mixture is too moist (if you had a larger sweet potato). Chill the mixture in the refridgerator for 30 to 60 minutes to make the falafels easier to shape.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat an oven to 400F/200C. Shape about 1 tablespoon of the falafel mixture into a little ball. If the mixture is too soft, add a bit more chickpea flour. Repeat until the falafel mixture is all shaped.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, turning them half way through the cooking time, until golden.
To make the sauce, whisk together the ingredients and chill until ready to serve.