Most falafel dishes are highly versatile by nature and rich in savory spices. Because of all the fragrant seasonings and herbs that go into falafel balls, from parsley to coriander, its main elements don’t have to be anything fancy. In fact, most chefs opt to use ground chickpeas or fava beans as a simple base for falafel since they serve as a mild culinary canvas and provide much-needed structure to all the competing flavors present in these recipes.
While most falafel recipes rely heavily on chickpeas for the falafel’s signature crisp outer texture and earthy taste, there are some alternatives to keep in mind. The next time you plan on baking or frying up a falafel dish, consider adding some sweet potato to the recipe. This subtly sweet root vegetable adds a punch of nutty flavor to falafel that blends with the other signature flavors. You can mash them up and easily fold them into the mix to enhance a falafel recipe, or you can even fully substitute the chickpeas or fava beans for sweet potato. The choice is up to you.
Why Sweet Potato Works So Well With Falafel
Sweet potato’s subtle flavor makes it a great base for a falafel recipe. Taste aside, it also lends the perfect texture to the interior of this dish. The best falafel balls are crunchy on the outside and soft and crumby on the inside, and a sweet potato can deliver on that expectation.
Additionally, sweet potatoes also bring wonderful health advantages to a falafel recipe, infusing each bite with plenty of antioxidants and fiber. It also stays true to the plant-based nature of falafels. Lastly, sweet potato also brings some satisfying colors into falafel balls, so there is an aesthetic advantage too. Whether you opt for a purple or orange sweet potato, anything goes.
Sweet potatoes are an accessible and affordable vegetable at most stores, so why not just add it to the grocery list? While you’re at it, consider some other elevating ingredients that are perfect for falafel, too.
Other Ways To Elevate Falafel
Falafel boast complex flavors and are full of herbs and spices, and sweet potato works to truly complement it all. Still, you don’t have to solely rely on this root vegetable for more flavor. For more ways to elevate falafels, try reaching for these other ingredients from your pantry.
For a spicy take on this traditionally mild dish, consider adding some cayenne pepper or even some fresh jalapeño into your falafel recipe. Alternatively, adding some fresh lemon juice or ginger into the mix will help to freshen up some of the signature smoky flavors. Another easy way to elevate falafel, without messing with a traditional recipe, is to switch up your dipping sauce. Many falafels come ready to eat alongside a bowl of tahini or hummus. For a new take on falafel balls, try a new dipping sauce like an olive tapenade or a smoky Muhammara sauce. Falafel can pair with an array of fresh ingredients, so there’s a lot of potential to get creative with accompanying side dishes.
Whether you enjoy your falafel in a pita or a bowl, don’t be afraid to try new things when you make them. The options are truly endless.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.