A healthy, plant based recipe baked in less than 30 minutes
I’m sure you’ve heard about falafel. Falafel balls are the Middle Eastern equivalent of meat balls. The basic ingredients are chickpeas and some bulgur, but flour is also used sometimes. And of course you add a lot of herbs and spices! Then these balls are deep fried and served inside pita bread with some tahini sauce. Today’s recipe is inspired by this classic dish but is made easier since the little healthy balls are not deep fried but baked. This means they’re lighter and your cooking becomes a lot easier!
Check the ingredients, and you’ll see that you can also eat these raw! Though baked are a little more interesting! The idea for this recipe came to me one day while I was eating some humus with warm bread and a delicious green smoothie for breakfast. I had been eating it three mornings in a row (I love humus, so I make large batches) and inexplicably I didn’t want to eat it for a fourth time. So I told myself: why don’t I make some baked humus balls? And here we are!
The bread crumbs in the recipe may seem a lot, but if you weight them you’ll see that they actually weight less than the chickpeas. They help the mixture become pliable and easy to work with. There are people who don’t like chickpeas or humus (I know…!) but enjoy these humus balls, and I believe breadcrumbs play a big part in that.
Oh, and I don’t buy ready breadcrumbs. I find it cheaper to process in a food processor some slices of one day old bread, or bread which I’ve kept in the freezer.
The dressing and the chopped scallions really make these humus balls shine, so make sure you serve plenty of them!
Check my appetizers/sides category for more interesting recipes!
- 1 medium tomato
- 2 cups chickpeas (cooked)
- ½ cup tahini
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- ½ cup chopped scallions
- 1½ teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced (or 2 for stronger flavor)
- 4 cups breadcrumbs (I use a food processor and a stale bread)
- salt and pepper to taste
- semolina flour or polenta for coating (about ½ cup)
- For the Greek yogurt dressing
- ½ cup greek yogurt (or coconut yogurt for vegan option)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar (opptional)
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- pinch of salt
- fresh chopped parsley and scallions for serving
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C)
- In a food processor process all the ingredients, except the bread crumbs, until almost smooth.
- Transfer to a bowl, add the bread crumbs and knead to form a soft "dough".
- Wet your hands and form balls the size of a small walnut.
- Dredge the balls in the semolina and transfer onto a lined pan.
- Drizzle with some olive oil and bake for 15 minutes.
- Switch to broil and bake for another 5 - 10 minutes or until golden brown.
- Mix together all of the dressing ingredients until well combined.
- Serve humus balls with dressing, parsley and scallions.
- Dip in dressing and eat.
They will keep refrigerated for 3-4 days.
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