These aren’t your typical falafel – they’re made with a mashed sweet potato and chickpea flour base, accented with a generous punch of spices, a nice amount of garlic and plenty of chopped cilantro. Baking makes these falafels a much healthier choice over the traditionally fried versions.
- 2 medium sweet potatoes (orange inside), or 1 1/2 pounds in total
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 small cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 big handfuls of fresh cilantro/coriander, chopped
- Juice of half a lemon
- a scant cup chickpea flour
- a splash of olive oil
- a sprinkling of sesame seeds
- salt and pepper to taste
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Reheat the oven to 400F/200C.
- Using a couple of soup spoons (put a well-heaped spoonful of mix in one spoon and use the concave side of the other to shape the sides) or a falafel scoop if you have one, make the mixture into small balls and put them on an oiled tray.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
- Bake in the oven for around 15 minutes, until the bases are golden brown.