I have a love-hate relationship with falafel. I love the flavours and the crispy bits on the outside – and, as a vegetarian, I feel I really should enjoy them (especially considering that falafel and hummus in a wrap is the only vegetarian option in about 97% of cafés around here).
But as I’ve told you before, I sometimes find them sooo dryyy that they just suck all the moisture out of your mouth. Not really what you’re going for when eating a meal. It makes it really hard to enjoy them.
Since I know that falafel must have some redeeming features, deep (deep deep) down inside, I’ve set upon an accidental quest to prove to myself that falafel aren’t all bad. Okay, so my quest currently only consists of two attempts, but I’m sure more will follow.
First came my quick falafel, which were pan-fried, and ended up much, much softer and moister than most falafel – which I took to be a storming success. Loved these!
Next up are my roasted red pepper falafel – I blended up roasted red peppers, and added them to the chickpea mixture along with some sriracha for a bit of kick (told you I was obsessed, it’s becoming a problem).
These roasted red pepper falafel were another success! But, in a different way to before. This time, the flavour was incredible (roasted red peppers!!! In my falafel!) – sweet roasted peppers and spicy sriracha are an amazing combination. The texture was slightly more similar to the standard dry falafel than to my super moist previous version, though – probably because I baked these ones. Next time I’ll try pan-frying them instead. But, if you’re a lover of all varieties of falafel, you might be happy with them baked. Go crazy, do whatever suits you best.
Either way, I’m sure you’ll enjoy these roasted red pepper falafel! The flavours are seriously amazing, and once you’ve slathered them in tzatziki, or extra sriracha, or hummus (though chickpeas on chickpeas = weird), who’s going to care how they were cooked anyway?
Roasted red pepper falafel
- 2 large red peppers
- 1 tbsp oil
- 400 g tin chickpeas 240g, or ~ 1 1/4 cups, when drained, drained
- 2 cloves garlic peeled
- Small bunch fresh coriander cilantro
- 1 tsp sriracha or more to taste
- Black pepper
- To serve: pitta bread salad, hummus, tzatziki, sriracha
- Halve the red peppers, and remove the core and seeds. Rub with a little oil, and roast at 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F) for about half an hour, until the peppers are soft and just beginning to crisp up.
- Turn the oven up to 200°C (Gas Mark 6 / 400°F).
- Place the roasted red peppers in a food processor with the drained chickpeas, garlic, coriander, and sriracha. Blitz until smooth, and season to taste, adding more sriracha if desired.
- Place dollops of the chickpea mixture on a lined baking tray, smoothing them out as much as you can. Bake for around 25 minutes, or until firm and slightly crispy. Serve with pitta bread, salad, and your choice of sauce.