Baked Carrot Falafel with Green Tahini

For the last few weeks I have been busy. 
Really really busy!!!

And as my friends Divi pointed out, it is not a bad thing after all!

I have joined as a recipe contributor for few websites. I have also been doing freelancing food photography as well. You can see all of my recent activities on by Facebook page

All this along with my full time responsibility as a Sid's Mommy isn't leaving me with any spare time at all. But I'm not complaining. Not yet!

OK! Now lets talk about Falafels - my favorite vegetarian appetizer, which when wrapped in a pita with thick tomato slices and crunchy cucumbers and tangy Tzatziki Sauce, often doubles up as my lunch.

I was looking for some healthy snack ideas for a Halloween Party for Sid's friends and I landed up here. The idea of 'orange' Falafels with a 'green' dipping sauce spoke to both me and Sid. We both were very excited. 

Falafel itself is a notoriously nutritious food. When further fortified with Beta Carotene rich carrots and instead of being fried, it gets baked, you get even more nourishing snack.

The "green" Tahini dipping sauce is utterly delish and packed with goodness too. I have used Cilantro to give it a bright 'green' color. 

Cilantro is a phenomenal herb that is packed with vitamins A, K, & C, minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium, Cilantro is a remarkable heavy-metal detoxifier and is remarkable in removing mercury and aluminum from the adipose (fat) tissues.

Sesame seeds, which is the base for Tahini sauce is a high energy food that help to provide optimum health and wellness. It's high in minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and copper. The copper in sesame seeds offers anti-inflammatory benefits too.

Even though the Baked Carrot Falafel with Green Tahini is ridiculously nutritious, it amazingly delicious as well. The carrots doesn't exactly make these Falafels 'orange', but it gives them a lovely golden hue. And makes them incredibly moist and delicious. 

Sid loved the Baked Carrot Falafel with Green Tahini. Don't restrict the Green Tahini to just a dipping sauce. It makes a lovely spread for sandwich as well. 

Here's the recipe. Do let me know if you like it!

Recipe Snapshot: Baked Carrot Falafel with Green Tahini

Makes: 10 patties

What I used:
For the Falafel:
Cooked Chickpeas - 2 cups or 1 (15 oz.) can, drained and rinsed

Carrots – 1 cup, grated (about 2 medium sized ones)

Cilantro – a handful, leaves and stem included

Garlic – 3 fat cloves (or less if you are not a garlic fan)

Cumin Powder – 1 tsp

Coriander Powder – 1 tsp

Chili powder/Cayenne Pepper/Paprika – ½ tsp (depending on heat tolerance)

Chickpea Flour – ¼ cup

Juice of half a lemon (about 1.5 tablespoon)

Salt to taste

For the Green Tahini
A large bunch of Cilantro , leaves and stem included

Tahini - ¼ cup

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 3 tablespoon

Maple Syrup – 1 tablespoon

Juice of half a lemon (about 1.5 tablespoon)

About 3 to 4 tablespoons of water

Salt to taste

What I did:
For the Falafel:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease it well.

2. Using a food processor or a box grater, grate the carrots.

3. In a blender or food processor, combine the cooked chickpea (or rinsed and drained, canned chickpea), grated carrots, a small handful of cilantro, garlic cloves, a teaspoon of each of cumin and coriander powder and half a teaspoon of chili powder or cayenne pepper or paprika, depending on the heat tolerance.

4. Pulse, till it breaks down to coarse dough, stopping and scraping down the sides as you go along.

5. Add lemon juice and salt to taste and pulse it again. Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly.

6. Add the chickpea flour, about one tablespoon at a time, and mix it, till you can easily form a patty that does not break.

7. Scoop about ¼ cup of dough and form in to flat patties and place it on the prepared baking sheet.

8. Spray a bit of cooking spray on the patties to give them some color.

9. Bake in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, flipping once in between till the patties are firm and slightly golden

10. Serve with the Green Tahini and salad.

For the Green Tahini
1. In a blender, add the cilantro, tahini, extra virgin olive oil, maple syrup, salt, lemon juice and blend till combines.

2. If too thick, add a tablespoon of water at a time and blend till smooth and reaches the desired consistency.

3. Serve with the Baked Carrot Falafel.

1. Instead of cilantro, you can substitute any herb of choice.
2. Chickpea flour is naturally gluten free and acts as a binder. If you cannot find it, add rice flour or arrowroot flour, or quinoa flour. If not gluten intolerant you can even add breadcrumbs.
3. Tahini has a slight bitter aftertaste. To balance it, I have added a touch of maple syrup. Honey, molasses or even white or brown sugar can be substituted.

Diabetic Platter:
Here are some health benefits of falafel:

Very high in fiber —You get lots of fiber from the chickpeas, not to mention the delicious vegetables used to fill the falafel. It’s one of the highest-fiber meals around, making it excellent for promoting healthy digestion!

Loaded with proteins –– Chickpeas are an excellent source of protein. 

Rich in healthy fats — Falafel does contain fat. However, it's all healthy fat. It is completely free of trans fats, low in saturated fat, and rich in the unsaturated fats that your body needs. 

Read More:


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