Saturday, 21 March 2009

Bumble bees and Sweet potato falafels

Spent most of the day at the allotment. Quite proud of myself. I have done quite lot of work today with a little help from D. I even saw my first two fuzzy bumble bees of the year, a sure sign of spring.

Now onto food - Ds not a fan of falafels, he calls them 'feel awfuls' as they sit heavy in his belly. I came across this recipe for Sweet potato falafels in Allegra McEvedy Leon. It is apparently one of the most popular veggie dishes served at Leons, loved by vegetarians and non vegetarians alike, so of course I had to try it out myself. Also a year or so ago, I purchased a falafel shaper, so was eager to try out my gadget and test out this recipe. The falafel shaper was a bit flimsy, but it did the job.

You definitely need something on the side to cut through the sweetness of the potatoes. We had them inside pitta bread with coriander yogurt sauce. I also think they would be good as part of a mezze. I have just tweaked the herbs and spices a little to suit my taste buds, and changed the name from sweet potato falafels to sweet potato coins, because that is how they turned out from the falafel shaper, otherwise the recipe is to the book
Sweet potato coins. Adapted from Leon. Makes about 20.
700g medium sweet potatoes
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
40g fresh coriander, chopped
Juice of ½ lemon
120g besan, gram flour also known as chickpea powder
Olive oil to coat the baking tray
Generous sprinkling of sesame seeds
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to gas mark 7 and roast the sweet potatoes whole until just tender (between 45 minutes to an hour). I tend to pierce the potatoes as I am paranoid they might blow in the oven.

When potatoes are cooked through, turn of the oven and leave them to cool until you are able to peel of the skins. Then put the potatoes, garlic, spices and fresh herb, lemon juice and flour into a large bowl. Season well, and mash lightly until you have a smooth mix with no chunks. Put the bowl into the fridge to allow the mixture to firm up for about an hour.

Oil a baking tray. Turn the oven to gas mark 6. Using a couple of large spoons, put a well heaped spoonful of mix in one spoon and use the concave side of the other to shape the sides. Or use a falafel shaper and put onto oiled tray. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then flips oven and give it another 5 minutes until golden.


  1. We enjoyed these tonight with our dinner. As it was a workday and time was limited, I microwaved one large sweet potato until it was nearly tender, then split it horizontally and baked it in the oven. This helps to give a bit of a caramelized flavour in a shorter time. I might add a bit of cayenne, or part of a chopped jalapeno next time. Somehow I missed reading the idea of the yogurt coriander sauce which as you suggested, mangocheeks, would nicely contrast the sweetness of the potato. We preferred them straight out of the oven, piping hot, and I will trial the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Thank you again, mangocheeks.

  2. Thanks Judith.
    So pleased you enjoyed them.
    Likign your shortcut idea of microwaving them too.
    I agree with you suggestions, esp. on adding a bit of cayenne to the recipe, as I remember it needing a bit more flavour.


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