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Sweet potato & quinoa falafels

To boil

  • Sweet potato 200-250/1 medium

  • Quinoa 60g

  • Water 300ml

  • Chickpeas 100g, ½ tin

For the falafels

  • Coconut oil 1 teaspoon

  • Chickpeas 100, ½ tin

  • Garlic, grated or chopped 2 cloves

  • Grated ginger 1 teaspoon

  • Salt ¾ teaspoon

  • Mexican taco spice mix 1 teaspoon, optional

  • Paprika powder ½ teaspoon

  • Cumin powder ¼ teaspoon

  • Chilli powder ¼ teaspoon

  • Rice vinegar 1 teaspoon, optional

  • Lime juice of ½

  • Coriander handful, optional

To serve

  • Avocado, chopped

  • Coriander

  • Grated beetroot

  • Tahini (plain or seasoned)

  • Lime wedge

  • Sesame seeds or furikake

Makes around 15 falafel balls

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into small chunks, then boil them for around 20-30 minutes until cooked and soft. If the quinoa isn't already cooked, you can also boil and cook the quinoa now - this should take 15-20 minutes. Lastly, leaving the chickpeas in boiling hot water for 5 minutes will soften them so they are easier to mash (I just added them to the boiling sweet potato after around 15 minutes).

Once everything is boiled and soft, you can make the falafel balls. Start by heating the oil and grated garlic and ginger in a pan or wok. Let this cook on low heat for a minute and then add the quinoa, sweet potato pieces and chickpeas. Now add the salt, all the spices, rice vinegar and lime, and mash together. Taste and add more chilli, salt or lime to taste. Let this cool for 5-10 minutes, until you can touch and roll into balls. Make the balls by rolling together between the palms. Applying oil on the hands makes the rolling easier. Place the balls on a baking tray and leave them under the grill for around 10 minutes until slightly brown, turning them a couple of times. You can then also make these balls a little more crispy (optional) by stirring them in a pan - heat a little oil in a pan, add some cumin seeds and then let the falafel balls cook, shaking them in the pan so that they become lightly brown all over.

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There are some people who love a little sweetness in their savoury dishes and others who can’t stand it. I’m definitely one for sweetness, so dates, goji berries or cranberries in salads, sweet balsamic and all those additional bits immediately draw me in. My sister, on the other hand, loathes with just as much enthusiasm anything sweet in her salads and main dishes. So when she tried these sweet potato falafels and nodded (and she’s not a big fan of sweet potatoes either), I thought that I had possibly got the balance of sweet, savoury and spice right. I bit into another falafel just to see what she may have liked about them. For me, these balls are moorish – and I can have a few without feeling heavy, they have a natural light sweetness yet enough of a balance with the spices and rest of the ingredients, they’re a great snack with salad or soup and you can leave them in the fridge and have them as a snack the next day (which I did), and they taste best with this tahini, yoghurt and paprika sauce.

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You can also serve with this tahini, yoghurt and paprika sauce – get the recipe

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