Perfectly crispy Falafel salad bowls with brown rice and veggies. Served with creamy tahini sauce, these falafel bowls are great for a tasty vegan lunch or dinner! Tasty, filling and the kids love them too!
1400g/15.5oz canof chickpeas drained rinsed and dried
1smallred onionfinely chopped
3tbspfreshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
2tbspfreshly chopped coriander/cilantro
2 or 3 tbspplain/all-purpose flour
1 ½tspground cumin
The juice of one smalllemon
3tbspsesame seeds(optional) Pour into a small bowl
Oil for cookingI used a light olive oil
For the veggie bowls
560gsweet potatoes (4 cups-US)peeled and cut into small cubes
125gbrown rice (1 cup - US)dry weight
100gcherry tomatoes (1 cup - US)cut in halves or quarters
1mediumcourgette/zucchini shaved into ribbons
1large yellow bell pepper/capsicum sliced into thin strips, pith and seeds removed
¼tspcracked black pepper
For the tahini sauce
½cup of tahini paste
¼ - ½cup ofcold water
Fresh coriander/cilantro leaves
To make the falafel bowls
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/392F.Place the sweet potatoes on a baking tray. Add ¼ teaspoon of salt and black pepper then drizzle the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix well so that all the sweet potato cubes are covered in oil.Roast in the oven until cooked, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Add the chickpeas along with the onion, garlic, flour, herbs, spices, lemon juices and salt. Blitz until you have a rough paste. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water and blitz again.Measure out one level tablespoon of the chickpea mixture. Shape into a ball between the palm of your hands. Dip the ball into the sesame seeds then place on a plate. Repeat until you have used up all the paste.Place the plate in the fridge to chill.When you are ready to cook them add 1 tablespoon of oil to a pan. Heat the oil over medium heat then add the falafel and cook until golden brown. Turn them often so they are cooked evenly.I cook these in two batches so as not to overcrowd the pan.Keep them warm in the oven until you are ready to serve.
Cook the rice.
Make the tahini sauce
Add the tahini to a medium mixing bowl. Stir in the lemon juice, garlic and salt.Slowly start whisking in the water. Add about 3 tablespoons at a time. Once you have the consistency you like stop adding water.The sauce I made was quite thick, if you prefer a thinner sauce add more water.
Assemble the falafel bowls
Divide the rice and sweet potatoes between four bowls. Add the raw veggies. Top with 4 falafel per bowl. Serve with a good dollop of the tahini sauce, lemon wedges and some coriander/cilantro leaves.
Chickpeas - For speed, I use canned chickpeas, you can, of course, use dried chickpeas and cook them yourself before you make the falafel.
Falafel - This recipe makes 16 falafel balls.
Courgette/zucchini ribbons - I use a vegetable peeler to shave the courgette into ribbons.
Tahini Sauce - Not everyone likes raw garlic, you can reduce the amount if you wish. If you have difficulty digesting raw garlic then try adding roasted garlic instead. You may need to reduce the amount of garlic if you do use roasted.
Sweet Potatoes - Make sure and cut the sweet potatoes into evenly sized squares, this way they will cook evenly. The smaller they are the quicker they cook, the larger they are the longer they will take to cook.
Freezing/storing- If you want to freeze the falafel I recommend freezing them before cooking. If you have any leftovers you can store them in the fridge for a day or two. With the exception of the brown rice, if you have brown rice it is really important to reheat that properly and only keep leftover rice for 24 hours.
Making ahead - The falafel can be made the day before, just cook it fresh. The tahini sauce can be made a couple of days in advance, store that in the fridge until you are ready to use it. I don't recommend cooking the rice or sweet potato in advance they are both best cooked fresh.
Nutritional Information - is approximate and is calculated using an online tool. It is based on one serving including a generous helping of the tahini sauce.
Measurements - I weigh all my ingredients using an electric scale, all measurements are metric. Cup measurements are approximate.