My mother taught me how to cook but my father taught me to improvise, not to stick to the script, not to let anything stop me from cooking. Even if I’m missing some ingredients. You can always make a dish based on another dish.
We didn’t have chickpeas, parsley and cilantro to make falafel but we had sweet potato, Thai purple basil and scallion. We did have cumin but since I was already using Asian flavors I added coriander seeds instead.
Asian style falafel is different and intense but is extraordinary and delicious! I made the same sides I would make for a typical falafel. The whole thing took about 20 minutes to make. Try to make it with different vegetables, herbs and spices and let me know how it came out.
Stuff the patties in a pita or serve them over a salad with tahini and preserved onions.
Sweet potato, basil & scallion falafel
For the falafel
- 1 small onion - quartered
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 2 garlic cloves
- Handful basil leave
- 1-2 scallions
- 1 sweet potato
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour - or gluten-free flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 pitas - optional
- Avocado or vegetable oil for frying or *baking
For the tahini sauce:
- ¼ cup tahini butter
- 1 lemon
For the salad:
- 1-2 cucumbers
- 1-2 medium tomatoes
For the preserved onion:
- 1 small onion
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Put the onion, garlic, coriander seed, basil and scallion in a food processor and pulse until everything is chopped. Scrap the sides and give it another quick pulse. Put into a colander and set a side.
- Peel the sweet potato. Using the small shredding blade of a box grater, grate it into a large bowl.
- Put the onion mixture and sweet potato in the center of a clean kitchen towel and squeeze the liquids out over the sink. Put it back in the bowl and add the flour and salt. Mix it with your hand until combined and set a side.
- If you’re baking the falafels then add 2 tablespoons avocado or any vegetable oil to the mixture before adding the flour and salt.
- *If you’re baking: preheat the oven to 400F/200C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Roll the mixture into small balls, flatten them and place them on the tray. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.
- If you’re frying: put about ½ cup oil in a small skillet and bring into a boil. Roll the mixture into small balls, flatten them and place them gently in the hot oil. Fry for 1-2 minutes then flip and fry for 1 minute. The patties should be golden brown. Remove from the oil and place on a plate covered with a paper towel.