Air Fried Sweet Potato Falafels Questa ricetta è disponibile anche in italiano.
These easy to make, super crunchy and healthy Air Fried Sweet Potato Falafels must feature your mezze Mediterranean spread.
What is not to like about Falafel? A great source of protein, a naturally great replacement for meat and perfect street food, party snack or main component to a main meal dish the falafel is a wonderful and versatile little ball of goodness. There is a reason why these little babies have found their way into the hearts of many vegans worldwide.
… A bit of History about Falafel
Traditional and heavily wide spread throughout the middle east and north Africa it is argued to have been invented in Egypt as long ago as 1000 years and spread from Alexandria, one of the largest and most influential world cities at the time. The origins of falafel are up for contentious debate, in fact falafel only really starts to appear in Egyptian texts after 1882 during British colonial occupation, though quite why this is the case is somewhat a mystery. Though many other countries lay claim to its invention, Israel, Lebanon and Yemen to name a few what matters more so is it’s long standing history as a staple in the cuisines of these countries. I mean you can’t survive for perhaps as long as 1000 years without being pretty amazing right?
Normally served in a Pita type bread and served with a refreshing salad and flavourful sauce such as tahini, this traditionally vegan hummus or even this quick Tzatziki sauce I made vegan, it is sure to leave you, I guarantee, with a very satisfying meal. You will be making these again.
Relatively it is a quite healthy food depending on how you cook it, certainly some oils are more healthy than others and if you want it as healthy as possible you could choose to oven cook instead of deep frying. In this version we are going to cook falafels in the air fryer, the cooking method that – in my opinion – suits best these little chickpea balls, leaving them crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle, like they were deep fried, but without the extra calories.
Let’s see how to make them!
How to make Air Fried Sweet Potato Falafels
First thing we have to cook the sweet potato for a few minutes.
To do so I use the microwave: for a 100 grams sweet potato 5 minutes are enough to make it soft and mushy, ready to be scooped and incorporated in this flavourful falafel mixture.
Chickpeas. Normally for deep fried falafels precooked chickpeas are a no no as they won’t hold the mixture together during cooking, no matter how much flour you’d add.
This recipe is different dough. Since we are going to use the air fryer to cook our healthy sweet potato falafels, we can use canned chickpeas as a quicker ready to use option. Canned chickpeas also work for oven baked patties.
In a blender bowl add the chickpeas (drained from their liquid), the sweet potato flesh that you can easily scoop out after baking, and the rest of herbs and spices. If you are not a fan of the garlic you can over roast the cloves before using it or considering swapping to fresh garlic bulbs, both alternatives are less deep and pungent in flavour than the good old garlic bulb.
Consistency-wise we want to achieve a crumbly sort of paste, that will easily allow us to be shaped.
Next we want to chill the mixture in the fridge for as little as half an hour. This step is essential for the perfect outcome, so please do not skip it. Alternatively you can prep the mixture the day before and chill it overnight, so it’s ready to use the next day.
After our falafel mix has chilled, we can finally shape and bake our falafels.
To shape the falafels you can use you hands to roll them as meat balls or a super handy falafel scoop maker. However, if you don’t have one you can also shape your falafels with an ice cream scoop or, as I normally do, with a 1 tbsp measurement scoop. This will allow to end up with consistent falafels identical in size and shape, that will be marvellously cooked at the same time.
Final step before enjoying these sweet potato falafel is cooking.
I arrange my falafels on the air fryer basked slightly oiled, spray another bit of vegetable oil on top and bake at 180°C for 15-20 minutes. There’s no need to flip the falafels half way, however, if you think yours need to be turned to achieve a most uniform colour, feel free to do it. Also, the slight coat of vegetable oil is needed to achieve a nice crispy coating, that resembles the one we would get with deep frying them, but with almost not added calories!
Our air fried sweet potato falafel balls are ready to be enjoyed as we please, with some Pitta Bread, Light Coleslaw Salad, pickles and topped with Tzatziki Sauce in both quick or cashew version, or a flavourful Mango Chutney, or as a part of a Mediterranean mezze spread, along with these Grilled Aubergine Roll Ups, this Italian Style Potato Salad, these Mediterranean Veggies with Balsamic Glaze, some Cous Cous Stuffed Peppers (with quinoa for a gluten free version), a bowl of and a few spreads, like the unmissable hummus.
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Air Fried Sweet Potato Falafels Recipe
1 can of chickpeas (or 200 g dried chickpeas if you want to deep fry)
1 medium Sweet Potato (around 100g)
1 Red Onion
2 tbsp Chickpea Flour (besan)
1/2 cup Fresh Coriander (15 g)
1/2 cup Fresh Parsley (15 g)
3 Cloves Garlic
1 1/2 tsp Ground Coriander
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1. Wash the sweet potato and place it still wet on microwave plate. Cook at 800°W for 5 minutes.
2. Drain the chickpeas, scoop the out the flash of the sweet potato and add all the ingredients minus the chickpea flour to a blender.
3. Blend to a coarse paste (depending on the blender you are using you might need to open it and push the mixture down a few times to blend it evenly).
4. Add the chickpea flour and adjust on seasonings, and mix well until everything is combined.
5. Transfer the mixture to the fridge for 30 minutes.
6. After 30 minutes you can shape the falafels by hand or with a tool (read post for tips).
7. Slightly oil the bottom of the air fryer basket, arrange the falafel on it, spray evenly with a thin layer of vegetable oil and cook for 15-20 minutes at 180°C (350°F) flipping them halfway if needed.
8. Enjoy the air fried sweet potato falafels in a pitta bread or as you please.
Note: for the deep fried version you MUST use dried chickpeas. Soak chickpeas over night and blend with the rest of the ingredients (you don’t need to boil them!). Follow the entire recipe, including the resting time (essential!). Deep fry the falafel in abundant vegetable oil for 2-3 minutes, until deep brown. Serve immediately.