If you have ever been to Arab Street in Singapore, you would have tasted world’s best Falafels at the restaurants lined up on the street showcasing beautiful Middle-Eastern culture. And when lip-smacking Arabic food is accompanied with belly dancing, life is pretty good! Falafels….I love them so much that I just can’t have them enough. I feel like visiting Arab street every other weekend primarily because of the lovely Persian, Israeli, Lebanese, Turkish and Arab cuisines that you will find out there. However, it is always a pleasure to make these at home. Guess what, home-made falafels definitely taste way better! On the account of being a hot family favorite, I have prepared falafel countless number of times and each time they turn out as perfect and just as delicious as they would be at some jazzy posh Arabic restaurant. But this time round, I decided to make them a tad bit healthier by adding shredded zucchinis!! This summer-squash family vegetable is a low-calorie highly nutritious crop full of dietary fibers. It is always a goody to add this lovely veggie into your everyday regular meals. They make your dish taste so much better.
When you’re trying to treat your non-vegetarian family with fresh healthy veg food, you make these zucchini falafels and you notice their vegetarian life has just gotten a little better!! That’s the magic lying within these lovely patties. These little zucchini and chickpea tikkis are aromatic and full of flavors. These act as a perfect substitute for meat in so many ways!! The goodness of this dish will convince meat-lovers that it’s perfectly okay to go without meat for a day. One bite of it and you will be hooked. All you will want to have are these zucchini falafel tikkis. Believe me, you can have these in so many different ways. Stuff them in a pita with salad and hummus and you are good to go. Or you might as well just throw them between buns along with some onions, tomatoes, tahini and there you have a delicious falafel burger / sandwich!! I am thinking of using up the leftovers next day in curry sauce to prepare a falafel curry. The possibilities are endless. Enjoy the recipe!!
Chickpeas – 1 cup (soaked overnight)
Zucchini – 1 medium sized
Garlic cloves – 7-8
Onion – 1 large finely chopped
Coriander leaves / Parsley – 1 big bunch (finely chopped)
Spring onion greens – 1 bunch (finely chopped)
Green chillies – 2-3
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Ground cumin – 1 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Flour – 1 tbsp
Salt – as per taste
Grate the zucchini, add a little salt and set it aside for 30 mins.
The zucchini will lose moisture.
Add the chickpeas to a food processor or blender.
Add the garlic, finely chopped onions, chopped coriander or parsley leaves, spring onion greens and pulse or grind to get a thick coarse mixture. Add a few drops of water if required.
Add the ground spices – red chilly powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, salt and green chillies. Grind again to get a roughly smooth mixture.
After pulsing a number of times and spooning the paste away from the walls of the blender, you will get a coarse mixture with the perfect consistency for falafel.
P.S: This will be much easier if you are using a food processor instead of a blender.
Squeeze out the moisture from the shredded zucchinis and add them into the chickpea mixture. Add some flour as a binding agent.
Mix this well and add some garam masala. Give it a good mix. Do a taste test to check the seasoning.
Heat some oil in a pan.
Carefully form patties out of the mixture and shallow fry.
Cook each side for at least 5 mins on a medium low flame. Make sure the patty is cooked from the inside and browned on both the sides.
Once done, lay them a out on kitchen paper towel to absorb the excess oil. There you have in the pic, the falafels had already started vanishing. Half of one of them is already gone!!
I served these hot with a simple Greek Yogurt-parsley dip.
In the evening I had these as falafel cheese sandwiches for dinner. They were absolutely delicious.
Enjoy these healthy and delicious Zucchini Falafel Tikkis with your family and trust me, you will give yourself a pat on the back!!