By Meredith Klein
Falafel made with Ayurveda’s favorite bean – mung beans – are a wonderful alternative to traditional chickpea versions. These little emerald balls are baked instead of fried, making them a better choice for springtime, when lighter foods are prescribed to counterbalance the predominant seasonal energy of kapha dosha (earth + water elements).
This Ayurvedic kapha food is also a wonderful way to utilize the abundance of fresh herbs that are popping up this time of year. You can customize this baked vegan mung bean falafel with tahini sauce recipe in innumerable ways so feel free to add in different herbs, powdered spices or other add-ins (seeds, chopped nuts, etc.)
Baked Vegan Mung Bean Falafel with Tahini Sauce Recipe
Makes about 2 dozen pieces
Soaking time: Overnight
Prep time: 20 minutes
Resting time: 20–30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 1 cup split yellow mung beans, soaked overnight
- 1½ cups loosely packed cilantro leaves and stems*
- 1½ cups loosely packed Italian parsley leaves
- A handful of mint, dill or other herbs of your choice (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons chopped chives (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons ghee, melted (+ additional for brushing)
- 2 Tablespoons tahini paste
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- Pinch of cayenne powder (optional)
- ¼ cup garbanzo flour (besan)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 Tablespoons lime juice
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons water (+ more to thin as needed)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
* Feel free to substitute chopped baby spinach or kale (or additional parsley) in place of the cilantro in this ayurvedic mung bean recipe if you have an aversion to it.
- Drain the soaked mung beans well. Place them in the bowl of a food processor fitted with an S-blade, along with the cilantro, parsley and any additional fresh herbs and/or chives you may be using. Pulse the food processor a few times until the mung beans and herbs are coarsely chopped.
- Add in the melted ghee, tahini, and the powdered spices (cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne). Pulse the mixture a few more times until everything is well integrated and a fairly uniform consistency is achieved (it should still be fairly coarse – do not over-process into a paste).
- Turn the mung bean mixture into a medium mixing bowl along with the garbanzo flour, salt and baking soda. Stir well. Place the falafel dough in the refrigerator for 20–30 minutes and allow it to firm slightly (if it is too wet after chilling, you can add 1–2 additional tablespoons of garbanzo flour as needed).
- While the falafel dough chills, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Prepare the smoky tahini sauce by whisking all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Add additional water as needed to achieve your desired consistency. Taste and add more salt and/or lime juice to taste. Set sauce aside until ready to serve.
- When you are ready to bake the falafel, use a small cookie scoop or ice cream scoop to gather the falafel dough into small balls roughly 1½ tablespoons each. (You can also wet your hands and shape the falafel into patties if you are going to use them for burgers, etc.) Place each ball on the prepared baking sheet. Once all falafel are formed, lightly brush them with melted ghee. Bake the falafel for 18–22 minutes or until they just begin to brown on the tops. Serve immediately, accompanied by the smoky tahini sauce.
Meredith Klein, the founder of Pranaful, is a Los Angeles-based private chef and lifestyle coach who is passionate about helping individuals experience radical transformation through the practices of Ayurveda, meditation and healthy, mindful eating. Meredith is the author of the cookbook Kitchen Ritual: Recipes to Inspire the Art & Practice of Mindful Cooking. Learn more about Meredith and her work at pranaful.com