Baked Falafel with Yogurt Sauce (I’m Afraid to Pulse)

The first few months I owned my food processor, I didn’t notice that there was a button on it that said “PULSE.”  Mmmm… that’s a lie.  I did notice the pulse button, but I was afraid of it.  So I just chose to believe that the “on” and “off” buttons were all I needed to use, and that pulsing was reserved for more experienced users attempting fantastically-sophisticated recipes that were still years out of my grasp.  After all, growing up, I didn’t need to know the difference between the “purée” “chop” or “mix” settings on the family blender. I just let it spin until I had my milkshake.

I am a grown man still fighting the fear of unfamiliar cooking terminology.  Rather than embarking on a simple investigation that could take less than a minute, or even just asking one of the many foodie friends I have met through this website, my first response more often than not still tends to be, “I can just get around whatever it is I don’t understand,” and try to bypass the step entirely.

As a result of this course of action, everything I put into my food processor for the first few months ended up the consistency of coconut water.

Finally, I worked up the guts to mention my total lack of understanding to Kevin, our tele-prompter operator at work, and he was saintly enough to de-mystify the magic of pulsing for me.  Now, not only do I get the exact required consistency every time, I really look forward to using that little-shit button. You should see how my body transforms when I get to that step in the recipe.  My left eye narrows, a cocky smirk rises from cheek to cheek, and then…” pulsepulsepulse… stop… wait… who am I?… I’m a cat…. Am I done?… I might be…. I… pulse… gotcha!… pulsepulsepulse... now I’m… pulse.. oh, you want a little more… pulsepulse… take that… pulse… fuck you, food.  You’re combined!

Baked Falafel from Sandra Lee

  • 2 (19-ounce) cans chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Have some nonstick cooking spray on hand as well

Yogurt Sauce

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

For Falafel:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place a baking sheet in to the oven.

Combine all falafel ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely ground.

Using your hands, form the falafel mixture into balls.  Sandra recommended about the size of walnuts, but I went a little bigger. Rinsing your hands in cold water between forming each falafel will help the mixture from sticking to your hands.

Remove the heated baking sheet from the oven and spray with the cooking spray. Place the falafel onto the sheet pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking, allowing them to brown on both sides.

For Yogurt Sauce:

The yogurt sauce is even easier.  Add all the sauce ingredients to a bowl until well-combined

I almost forgot the flour.  Luckily, I realized it after only a pulse or two, and threw it in.
I’m fairly sure I forget to include the baking powder entirely, which may be account for the final shape the falafel took.  They still came together though and tasted great, but I may have missed out on some of the rise.


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6 thoughts on “Baked Falafel with Yogurt Sauce (I’m Afraid to Pulse)

  • April 2, 2010 at 9:50 am
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    Or, you could just ask your boyfriend who would have explained what the pulse button was for the day you took the bloomin’ thing out of the BOX! Good falafels, too!

  • April 3, 2010 at 3:01 pm
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    @MG – you know how I roll.

    @YOTG – LOL! Thanks!

  • April 4, 2010 at 6:49 am
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    I feel that way about my food processor’s grater. I’ve never used it. And I know it would make my life so much easier. But I’m irrationally petrified of it. Ridiculous? Absolutely.

    These falafel look great!

  • April 5, 2010 at 1:17 am
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    Um, er, sigh…. I don’t even own a food processor…
    I do own a blender… and I have lots of sharp knives.

    Knives are easy – no buttons to mystify and confuse.

  • April 5, 2010 at 10:19 am
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    Agree with you on the knives. Some of my happeist times of the day are spent with a knife in my hand. Er, that didn’t come out right but you know what I mean 🙂

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