Sweet potato falafel – no frying necessary

I had the girls coming round for a quick dinner before we went out for some wine, and this recipe, in Leon’s first recipe book was perfect.

The girls all love sweet potato, and tend to live on a diet of sweet potato combined with lots of roasted vegetables (they also go to the gym pretty much every day), and this recipe, which uses roasted sweet potatoes as a base instead of chickpeas, ticked all the healthy boxes.

This recipe makes around 18 falafel.

2 medium sweet potatoes
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 small cloves garlic chopped
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 big handfuls fresh coriander
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
120g gram flour (chickpea flour)
Olive oil
Sesame seeds (optional)
2 whole mild green chillies (optional)

To make:
1. Preheat the oven to 220C and roast the sweet potatoes until they are soft, sticky and tender (about 45 minutes).
2. Leave the potatoes to cool then peel them and put the flesh into either a large bowl, or, if you have one, a food processor (I did this to make the process a bit easier and quicker).
3. Add the cumin, ground and fresh coriander, garlic, lemon juice and gram flour to the sweet potato. Season well and either blend, or mash with your hands or a potato masher if you are not using a food processor. The mix should be nice and smooth. It is at this point that after tasting, I decided some chilli would be a nice addition, so chucked a couple of green chillies in and blitzed, you could chop some up and mix them in too though.
4. If the mix is too wet, just add more gram flour (which gives it the falafelly flavour). Put the mix into the fridge to firm up, I did this the night before but an hour or two is usually fine.
5. When you are ready to cook them, preheat the oven to 200C and shape the mix into falafels – the book suggests using two spoons, but I just gave up and used my hands – although the mix is quite sticky!
6. Place falafels onto an oiled baking tray and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
7. Bake for about 15 minutes – until the bottoms are golden – I actually turned them over after 15 because they were a bit stuck, then cooked them for a few more minutes.

Voila!

I served them with warm pitta, homemade hummus, yoghurt and harissa, cabbage, carrots, chillies and gherkins, and they were such a hit, that two of the girls got the recipe from me straight away! They have probably already cooked them, but Meg and Lizzie, this is for you x (thanks Lizzie for the photo).

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