Sweet Potato-Chickpea Falafel Salad With Ras El Hanout (VG, GF)
Today's recipe is starring a very aromatic and complex spice mixture, used a lot in the Moroccan cuisine- Ras el Hanout. Ras el Hanout combines coriander, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, anise, chili, turmeric, paprika, ginger, garlic, cloves, nutmeg, rose petals, lavender flowers and grains of paradise. It's commonly used in hummus, soup, tagine and couscous recipes. You can buy it already mixed in most food stores, or prepare it at home.
Since Ras el Hanout goes really well with chickpeas, I thought why not incorporate it in a falafel recipe? To make it even more interesting, I added some sweet potato to the falafel mixture. Crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, this falafel recipe turned out so good! You can either serve it on top of a salad, or enjoy it in pita bread or Buddha bowls. The choice is all yours.
If you decide to try this recipe, mention @nutritious.plants on Instagram, so I can see your creations.
SWEET POTATO-CHICKPEA FALAFEL SALAD WITH RAS EL HANOUT
For the falafel (20 balls)
1 glass jar of chickpeas (350g)
1 small to medium sweet potato
1 small head of yellow onion
3 tbsp or more of chickpea flour
1/4 cup of chopped chives
1 tbsp of tahini
2 tsp of Ras el Hanout
2 tbsp of lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
For the salad dressing
2 tbsp of tahini
1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
Pinch of smoked paprika
Salt to taste
Water to desired dressing consistency
For the salad
Salad greens of your choice
Sprouts of your choice (broccoli sprouts are my favorite)
Sprinkle of finely chopped chives, sesame or pumpkin seeds, and dulse or other type of dried seaweed*
* I personally use a mixture of dried dulse, nori and wakame.
Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F.
Place the sweet potato onto a tray covered with parchment paper and let it bake with the skin until tender. Somewhere halfway through the cooking process, add the peeled and cut in halves onion to the tray.
While waiting for the sweet potato and onion to bake, rinse and drain the chickpeas. The drier they are, the crispier the falafel is going to turn out.
To a food processor, add in the chopped chives, chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, salt, pepper and Ras el Hanout.
Cut the baked sweet potato in halves, scoop it out and add it to the food processor along with the slightly roasted onion. Tip: leave the oven on, since you're going to need it later for baking the falafel.
Add at least 3 tbsp of chickpea flour to the mixture in the food processor and blend until well combined. Make sure not to overdo it, otherwise it's going to be hard to form the falafel. If needed add more chickpea flour. It's what binds the mixture and makes it possible for the falafel to hold together. Depending on the size of the sweet potato and the dryness of the chickpeas, the amount of chickpea flour can vary. Three tablespoons is a good starting point, but you can go up to 4 or even 5.
Form around 20 falafel balls. I personally used a cookie/ice cream scoop instead of going in with my hands and getting all dirty. The falafel didn't turn out perfect in shape, but I still find this to be an easy and perfect solution, especially if your mixture is on the moist side and it's difficult to shape the balls by hand.
Using the scoop, place the balls onto a tray covered with parchment paper and bake around 20 minutes at 200°C/400°F until a golden brown crust starts forming.
While waiting on the falafel to bake, prepare your salad dressing by whisking together 2 tbsp of tahini, 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, pinch of smoked paprika and salt to taste. Slowly add in water until you achieve the desired consistency of the dressing. Some like it more liquid, some thicker. Store the dressing in a glass container in your fridge. Have in mind that the dressing is going to thicken up a bit while in the fridge. This amount serves a couple of portions. For more, please double or triple the quantity of the ingredients.
Add as much greens as you like to a serving plate along with some chopped cucumber and tomatoes.
Place 4-5 falafel balls on top of your salad (only after they have cooled down a bit).
Top your salad with 1-2 tbsp of sauerkraut and sprouts of your choice.
Drizzle some of the dressing on top and sprinkle some finely chopped chives, dried seaweed and pumpkin or sesame seeds.
Hope you like this recipe!