Sweet Potato Falafel With Courgette Ribbons

Sweet Potato Falafel With Courgette Ribbons

I once spent half a year in Brooklyn, New York and whenever an endometriosis flare-up made me bed-bound and unable to cook, I always ordered sweet potato falafel from a local joint. This dish is so delicious that when I returned to the UK I craved it so often, I had to make my own version. To me, the process of making sweet potato falafel is an exercise in mindfulness and relaxation, with a delicious reward at the end. It's also brilliantly easy. My version is low in any spices or ingredients that tend to upset my digestive system, but feel free to tweak it to suit yours.

Optional toppings for this dish are tahini, crumbled feta cheese, or if your stomach can take it, hot chilly. I tend to stick to tahini with a squeeze of lemon.

Serves 2-4

Ingredients for sweet potato falafel with courgette ribbons

For the falafel

  • 1 small sweet potato (approximately 200g)
  • 1–2 tbsp olive oil
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 roasted red pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • Small bunch of fresh mint
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • 2 tbsp plain gluten-free flour
  • Vegetable oil, for shallow frying

For the courgette ribbons

  • 1 courgette
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 200g walnuts
  • Salt and pepper

Directions for sweet potato falafel with courgette ribbons

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4
  2. Dice the sweet potato and place it on a baking tray, drizzling over the olive oil. Toss the sweet potato pieces until they’re evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15–20 minutes, or until tender and brown around the edges. Once done, set aside to cool.
  3. Now onto the courgette ribbons. Using a peeler, slide it down the courgette, creating long thin ribbons.
  4. Place your ribbons in a saucepan, with some olive oil, and cook on a medium heat. Once soft and slightly brown, place the cooked courgette on a separate plate.
  5. Add the walnuts to the same saucepan and cook until lightly brown. Add to the courgette.
  6. In a food processor, add the cooled sweet potato, all of the other falafel ingredients, and blend. Make sure you don’t overdo the blending, as you want quite a coarse mixture. If the mixture is looking too dry, add a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Pour the mixture into a bowl, and with wet hands, divide it into 12 equal-sized small balls. They don’t have to be perfectly rounded, just make sure they are packed tightly.
  8. Place on a tray lined with baking paper and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  9. In a deep saucepan, heat the vegetable oil. One hot, shallow fry the falafel balls, on a medium heat. Cook until golden.
  10. Remove the falafel balls as they cook, letting them drain on some kitchen paper.
  11. Serve on a plate with the courgette ribbons, add your choice of topping, and dig in!

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Nutrition facts

Per Serving

  • calories: 887
  • fat: 69.6g
  • protein: 28.1g
  • sodium: 92mg
  • sugar: 5.4g
Credit: Photograph by Jessie Madrigal. All rights reserved. Used with permission

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