Sesame Falafel with Ginger Tahini and Jalapeño Sauce.
Sesame Falafel with Ginger Tahini and Jalapeño Sauce. YUM.
If you’re looking for a new and different dinner, something fun, fresh, colorful, and delicious, then this is your dinner. If you are hesitant, don’t be, it’s time for something a little out of the box.
Have you guys ever had falafel? If you’ve been to a Mediterranean style restaurant, than I’m pretty sure you have. They’re little fried balls traditionally made with a mix of ground chickpeas and herbs. They might not sound all that exciting, but they are, and extra delicious too. Even chickpea haters love a good falafel. And today’s falafel recipe is ever so delish. Loaded with plenty of flavor, good texture, and eaten with Naan.
Here’s how this recipe came to be. It involves two people and their desire to eat falafel and naan. Those two people would be my brother Brendan, aka Gerry, and his girlfriend, Lyndsie, aka Chi Chi. Bren and Lyn’s have traveled the world, and eaten everything from bugs to caviar. They very often provide me with some of the best inspiration for my recipes. I am personally not much of a traveler, but obviously they are, and I’m very thankful for their worldly taste in food.
Bren and Lyn’s were in town last week and when I asked them what they wanted to eat while here, Lyn’s requested (errr more like demanded) some fresh naan and homemade falafel. It had been a while since I had made any kind of Mediterranean food, so I was all in for a little falafel.
The thing is, if I was going to make falafel, I needed them to one, be colorful, and two, be different from all the rest. And that’s where my sesame and carrot falafels come into play. Honestly, I’m not sure how I really thought to mix some carrot into my falafel, but it ended up being the best random decision I made all week. I think I really just loved the idea of my little falafel balls being a nice pastel…ish shade of orange. If you guys have not noticed, I am very into the light pastel colors right now. I blame this on spring and Easter…and my desire to break away from dark and dreary winter (isn’t the extra hour of sunlight great).
Anyway, adding in carrot not only added color, but also flavor. I love pairing carrots with sesame seeds and cumin, so naturally I included those as well, and in turn I got the most delicious and perfect homemade falafel. If you could see my face right now, you would be able to see excitement written all over it!
To make the falafel, you’ll need a food processor or blender, it’s key for grinding up the ingredients. What’s awesome is that you mix everything in the food processor, roll the dough into balls, pan fry, and you’re done. It’s about a thirty minute or so process, and while rolling and pan frying can be slightly tedious, believe me, it’s worth it.
I usually serve the falafel with some laban (thick yogurt), avocado, cucumber, and a little home ginger tahini plus spicy jalapeño sauce. The tahini adds a nice creamy touch, while the spicy jalapeño sauce adds an herby, spicy punch, that balances out the sweetness from the carrots.
It’s perfection, so much so that the minute I finished working on this recipe, the plate of food was gone with not a single crumb left. Meaning the recipe was very well loved.
Also, if you wanted to make this as more of a meal prep style recipe, that would work amazingly well. The falafels can be fried and kept in the fridge for easy lunches and dinners. They are good reheated or even just eaten at room temperature. The sauces will keep for at least a week, so you can make those on Sunday too. Then, when you’re ready to eat, just assemble everything and you’ll have lunch or dinner ready within five minutes.
Doesn’t get easier than that.
Now, if only I could eat this while sailing the Mediterranean sea…
Sesame Falafel with Ginger Tahini and Jalapeño Sauce
If you're looking for a new and different dinner, something fun, fresh, colorful, and delicious, then this is your dinner!
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 can (16 ounces) chickpeas, drained + rinsed
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (use a gluten free flour, if needed)
- 1/4 cup raw sesame seeds
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- kosher salt and black pepper
- fresh naan, for serving
- tzatziki, laban, or yogurt, for serving
- lettuce, cucumber, and sliced avocado, for serving
- 2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
- 1 lemon, juice plus zest
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- 1/4 cup tahini
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 inch knob ginger, grated
1. Add the carrots to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the chickpeas, flour, sesame seeds, garlic, cumin and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Pulse until the mixture is combined and mostly smooth. Roll the dough into rounded teaspoon size balls.
2. Add a few inches of oil to the bottom of a heavy pot. Heat to 375 degrees F.
3. Fry the balls for 2-3 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Drain onto paper towels and then sprinkle lightly with salt.
4. To assemble, spread each piece of naan with yogurt, top with lettuce, falafels, avocado, and cucumber. Drizzle the ginger tahini and jalapeño sauce (both recipes below) over the falafels. Enjoy!
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until completely smooth. Add water to thin the sauce to a drizzling consistency.
I can dream!
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