Mung Bean Falafels with Cucumber Tahini Sauce

IMG_4735Have you ever had mung beans? They don’t SOUND like they would be good, but they are now my new favorite bean! They are so yummy— almost sweet like peas, but still very firm and savory. They have insanely high protein and iron content compared to other legumes. This recipe is based on the Ayurvedic Falafels from One Green Planet, but they are a little more punched up with herbs and spices! They say that Ayurveda considers mung the king of beans! Now I know why. Four falafels have 240 calories, about 12 grams of protein, 17% of your daily required iron, 4 grams of fat, and 6.5 grams of fiber, and 39 grams of carbs. They are gluten free and full of anti-inflammatory ingredients like garlic and turmeric. 

You would never guess how healthy these falafels are because they are so tasty. I tried a round of deep frying them, which was delicious, but then I tried baking them and they really were just as good (if not better, less greasy) so that’s the way I would recommend. Whenever I have tried falafels at restaurants, they are like rock hard balls of dry salt, so I wanted to create falafels with a crispy exterior and a multi-dimensional flavor. I had never used potato flour, but I think it really helps with their lighter texture. However, you can use regular flour if you can’t find potato flour. 

Mung Bean Falafels with Cucumber Tahini Sauce

Makes 15 falafels

2 shallots

8 cloves garlic

1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley

1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro

2 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp salt

1 tsp turmeric

A couple sprinkles of nutmeg

1/4 tsp cayenne

1/2 tsp black pepper

Juice of half a lemon

3/4 cups dried mung beans

3 tb potato flour

1 tsp baking powder

1tb olive oil

Sauce

3 tbs tahini  

3 tbs coconut yogurt 

Juice of half a lemon

1/2 persian cucumber (or a quarter of a regular cucumber) peeled and minced

A dash of paprika

To cook mung beans, just bring them to a boil with 1 part mung beans, 2 parts water, then cover and lower heat to simmer for 30 minutes. They should be ‘al dente’, not mushy.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a food processor, combine all falafel ingredients except the mung beans and blend into a chunky puree. You don’t want it to be perfectly smooth but you don’t want big hunks of garlic either.

Then add the mung beans and pulse until they are just broken down. Don’t puree.

Add the potato flour and baking soda and mix in with a spoon or your hands.

Form the dough into little patties, about 2 big tablespoons per patty. They should basically be a ball, but a little flattened. 

Line a baking pan with a layer of parchment paper and brush both sides of the falafels with the olive oil.

Bake the falafels for about 20 minutes, then flip them and bake another 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them, you want them to be golden brown on both sides. Cooking time may vary.

To make the sauce, just combine all ingredients.

Serve your falafels on pita, lavash bread, or on a bed of lettuce. Wrapped up as a sandwich with lettuce, diced tomato, diced onions, olives, hummus, garlic fluff, and some Sriracha! They freeze well too, so you can whip up a big batch and have a falafel feast anytime, just heat in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes or so. 

falafel

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