The Jew And The Carrot

Baked Falafel for Meatless Mondays

By Molly Yeh

  • Print
  • Share Share

In college, Mondays meant falafel. It started when Soom Soom, an amazing Kosher eatery on 72nd St., had falafel happy hour. Two sandwiches for the price of one. My fellow students and I would pair up and walk over for dinner. We’d cram into the tiny joint, bask in half-price falafel yumminess, and enjoy the break from school.

When I graduated and moved out to Brooklyn, I lived within a mile of enough falafel places to keep me on my toes for months: an Israeli bar and restaurant, a gourmet falafel place with delicious doughy pita, and a bright green falafel truck parked right in front of my brownstone whose smells seeped into my living room (in the best way possible), to name a few. I loved them all and always looked forward to Monday dinners.

Living on the farm, I miss my many falafel places. But, since moving away from New York, I have loved making my own. With its basic ingredients being items that I always have on hand (garbanzo beans and various spices) that can be paired with whatever fresh herbs or green leafy vegetables I have at the moment, a homemade falafel is never out of reach. Served with a salad or rice and tahini sauce, it makes for a trusty and tasty meal.

The following recipe takes a cue from one of my favorite New York Israeli restaurants, Nanoosh, and calls for baking the falafel balls. It’s a healthy delight with an easy cleanup, and it won’t leave you in a food coma like many of my college Monday nights were. Kale adds nutrients (although any leafy greens will do), minced shallots add a bit of sweetness, and ground cumin and coriander give you that familiar falafel taste.

So embrace the Meatless Monday (or any day), grind up some chickpeas, and get your falafel fill, right in your own kitchen.

Baked Falafel with Kale, Shallots, and Sumac Tahini Sauce

Makes 2-4 servings


1 packed cup of kale (other leafy green vegetables, like spinach, will work too)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice from 1/2 lemon
A pinch of Kosher salt
1 15.5-ounce can or 1 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas, rinsed
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 large shallots, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
A few turns of black pepper
A pinch of crushed red pepper


1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup water
Juice from 1/2 lemon
3/4 teaspoon sumac
A pinch of Kosher salt

For serving: Fresh pita or a salad of greens, chopped tomatoes, and chopped onions or shallots.

1) Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment, spray it with cooking spray, and set aside.

2) Add the kale, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt to a food processor and process until the kale is ground into tiny flecks (this shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds). Add the remaining falafel ingredients and pulse quickly, about 40-60 times, until the mixture is combined, but still slightly granular.

3) Form the mixture into 2- to 3-tablespoon-sized balls and place them on the baking sheet, 1 to 2 inches apart. Spray the balls with cooking spray or brush them with olive oil and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the tops and edges start to brown.

4) To make the sauce, stir together all ingredients with a fork or whisk. Add more water if you’d like a thinner consistency. Drizzle on the falafel and serve immediately.

Photos by Molly Yeh

Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: recipes, falafel

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Find us on Facebook!
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.