Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sweet Potato Falafel and Friends

Whole spices are one of the most beautiful things I can think of.  They're up there with mountains and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

I made harissa again!  This time I used more chipotle peppers in the mix.  It's spicier than I remember... goodness gracious, is it spicy!

I'm excited about using it in this spicy harissa split pea soup, but the first thing I did with it was mix it into a little baba ganoush with mint.  This was a very good thing.

I also braved very high temperatures today in order to make these baked sweet potato falafels from 101 cookbooks.  It sounded totally amazing, right?  Falafel based on sweet potatoes, and a chance to use my chickpea flour?!

So why were these so underwhelming?  I think they needed more fat!  Olive oil, tahini, something!  Perhaps fried this recipe would be good, but baked, it just seemed kind of heavy and clay-ey.  No amount of lemon and cilantro could change that.  Alas.

I had them with a bootleg tahini sauce (tahini, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, olive oil, water).

Baked Sweet Potato Falafel

2 medium sweet potatoes (orange inside), around 700g or 1 1/2 pounds in total
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 small cloves of garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 big handfuls of fresh cilantro/coriander, chopped
juice of half a lemon
a scant cup chickpea flour
salt and pepper (I used cayenne)
a splash of olive oil
a sprinkling of sesame seeds

1. Preheat the oven to 425F degrees (220C) and roast the sweet potatoes whole until just tender - 45 minutes to 1 hour. Turn off the oven, leave the potatoes to cool, then peel.
2. Put the sweet potatoes, cumin, garlic, ground and fresh coriander, lemon juice and gram/chickpea flour into a large bowl. Season well, and mash until smooth with no large chunks (I actually did this in a mini food processor).  Stick in the fridge to firm up for an hour, or the freezer for 20-30 minutes. When you take it out, your mix should be sticky rather than really wet. You can add a tablespoon or so more of chickpea flour if necessary (the water content of sweet potatoes varies enormously).
3. Reheat the oven to 400F/200C. Make the mixture into falafelly looking things (I just used my hands, as if I were making cookies) and put them on an oiled tray. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and bake in the oven for around 15 minutes, until the bases are golden brown.  Makes about 18 falafel, enough for 4 - 6.


In other news?  It is spring in my sink!!  A mung bean must have fallen under the dish drainer... and yes, I know I need to do some serious cleaning.  That's why this is at the bottom of the post.  :)

1 comment:

Myer said...

Wow, this looks incredible - sorry to hear that the baked variety doesn't quite satisfy the tongue like it does the eye. Baba Ganoush with mint and chipotle! There's no way that sentence could have ended with less exciting punctuation.