Condiments/Sauces/Dips | Side Dishes

Crispy Mozzarella Stuffed Falafel Balls

Crispy Mozzarella Stuffed Falafel Balls

CRISPY FALAFEL BALL STUFFED WITH MOZZARELLA CHEESE

A Middle Eastern food called falafel offers you aromatic, vibrant flavours that will burst in your mouth.

A chickpea falafel paired with a good dipping sauce does make these crispy balls stand out in the flavour department.

I chose to make a homemade dipping sauce with yogurt, cucumber, fresh chives, fresh basil, fresh mint, lime juice, salt and pepper and bits of traditional feta cheese.

Letting this dip stay in the refrigerator overnight will give you the best taste as the flavours have time to come together.

If you decide to have no sauce with your falafel balls then you can simply enjoy them as they are. 

The cumin will stand out amongst all of the spices as you want that traditional spice to steal the show.

Chickpeas don’t have much flavour so you need to jazz up your falafel balls if you want them to taste good.

Serving Falafel Balls

Traditionally you may find falafel in pita with a sauce which could range anywhere from hummus to tahini (sesame seed paste) or you can create your own falafel sauce like I have today.

You can find sesame tahini at most grocery stores in the international aisle and it’s reasonably priced for what you get. 

Inside the pita bread, you can stuff it with lots of fresh vegetables, the falafel balls and your sauce of choice.

When you bite into my falafel balls you will have hot melted mozzarella oozing out from the inside.

I have made my olive pita bread and stuffed a few crunchy balls inside and it’s out of this world.

If you don’t fancy pita you can easily take any bread you like and make a falafel sandwich.

Chickpeas 101

What is a chickpea?

I went to Wikipedia to find out all I needed to know about chickpeas simply because I’m not a chickpea specialist and I wanted to learn more about chickpeas.

If you are curious like me you might find this part of the recipe interesting then.

The chickpea also called the Cicer arietinum or better known as the garbanzo bean, “calavance” in Old Spanish is part of the legume family and packed full of protein and likely why my vegetarian friend serves chickpeas quite often to her family.

The chickpeas is also one of the earliest cultivated legumes with remains found in the Middle East but also dates back to the French. 

There are two types of chickpeas that I didn’t know about, one is called Desi  which has a small darker seed and rougher coat and the other called Kabuli is a larger seed, lighter in colour and smooth.

According to Wiki, chickpeas are grown in the Mediterranean, western Asia, Indian subcontinent, the Great Plains and Australia.

You can also find the black chickpeas called the “ceci neri” only grown in Puglia, Italy which I find interesting as we have a bag of black chickpeas.  

If you want to learn chickpeas 101 then click on the wiki link above and enjoy the chickpeas history.

How To Cook Dry Chickpeas?

dry chickpeas

We prefer to buy dry chickpeas and hydrate them because the cost is far cheaper for our grocery budget.

We used to boil them in a pot but the task of babysitting the stove got a bit daunting.

We have a friend who is from India living in Canada and prepares many variations of chickpea recipes each week.

She used to boil them or use her pressure cooker but now she tells us that she uses the crockpot to hydrate her chickpeas.

She came up with a brilliant idea and we haven’t looked back.

Once a week, usually on the weekend we plug in our crockpot, add in 2 or 3 cups of dry chickpeas and cover the chickpeas with water.

We turn the crockpot on high for 3 hours and voilà, cooked chickpeas and you don’t have to watch them.

If you don’t care for the dry version you can buy canned chickpeas at every grocery store.

Chickpea Snacks

I have also baked chickpeas which is simply a recipe for a roasted chickpeas snack that is well seasoned with various spices, coated in oil and then dry baked in the oven set at 350 degrees on a baking sheet until crunchy.

They are easy to make and pack away for a snack at home, work or play.

Are Falafel Balls Healthy?

I’m no nutritionist, and we are deep-frying the falafel here, although if you plan to bake falafel balls in the oven you would have a higher success rate of keeping the calories down and the cholesterol in check.

You can also flatten the ball and shallow fry them in a frying pan instead of deep-frying and then drain on paper towels.

We don’t eat these often it’s considered more of a treat once in a while.

A falafel ball is also perfect veggie food for vegetarians if you want something to satisfy your deep-fried cravings.

However, some people tend to cut some calories by making baked falafel balls although I have to admit I have never tried it that way.

Food Truck Snacks

Most food trucks that you will find that offer falafel balls will offer the pita falafel but I’m sure you could ask for a plate of balls instead.

I’m not sure if any food truck has created the mozzarella filled falafel but if you are reading this, give me credit for the next best thing with falafel balls, it’s amazing.

I’m probably not the first to discover that mozzarella and falafel go together.

It certainly takes a boring falafel ball and turns it into a party in your mouth.

Store-Bought Falafel

Home-made falafel balls are far superior to the boxed convenience type you can buy.

Where to buy falafel balls?

Well If you insist on making them from a box you can pick up a box at almost any major grocery store.

I have seen them at Freshco, No Frills, Metro and Food Basics.

How To Make Falafel Balls

Printable Recipe Down Below

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: deep-fry until browned (3-4 minutes)
  • Serving Size: Approximately 12- 14 falafel balls depending on how big you make them

Falafel Ball Ingredients

  • 1 cup of chickpeas drained
  • 1 cup of cubed mozzarella
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives
  • juice of 1 lime
  • canola oil for deep-frying

Falafel Ball Directions

  • In a bowl mash-up your chickpeas with a potato masher or fork. It’s fine if there are chunks as I prefer the texture with chunks of chickpeas.
  • In your food processor add all the other ingredients (except the mozzarella) and whiz them up until combined.
  • Mix the contents of the food processor into the bowl of the mashed chickpeas and mix until combined
  • Roll the mixture into golfball-sized balls, press a cube of mozzarella in the middle and form a uniform sized ball with the mixture in your hand then set on a platter or baking sheet.
  • Put in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours so the flavours have time to come together.
  • In a deep-fryer heat up your oil and drop the falafel balls in one at a time and fry until golden brown.
  • Remove from the deep-fryer and drain on paper towels.
  • Serve with your choice of dipping sauce, tahini, hummus, tzatziki dip or homemade cucumber-yogurt feta sauce.
  • Open your pita pouch, add in a few falafel balls, lettuce, tomato, onion, and your choice of sauce to make a falafel sandwich.

Cucumber Yogurt Feta Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cucumber chopped into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon of dill
  • 6 fresh basil leaves minced
  • juice of half of a lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of traditional feta crumbled
  • 1 cup of plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 minced chives
  • 4 or 5 sprigs of mint minced

Directions:

  • Add all the ingredients except the feta to a bowl and mix together
  • Fold in the feta cheese until combined
  • Wrap and refrigerate overnight or for the 2 hours that the falafel balls are in the refrigerator

Crispy Mozzarella Stuffed Falafel Balls
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Cuisine: Greek
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Crispy Falafel mozzarella stuffed balls are the perfect snack when you want something to satisfy your savoury tooth. Dip them in a cool yogurt feta sauce and you have a match made in heaven.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of chickpeas drained
  • 1 cup of cubed mozzarella
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ sweet onion
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • ¼ fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup fresh chives
  • juice of 1 lime
  • canola oil for deep-frying
  • Cucumber Yogurt Feta Sauce
  • Ingredients:
  • ½ cucumber chopped into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon of dill
  • 6 fresh basil leaves minced
  • juice of half of a lime
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup of traditional feta crumbled
  • 1 cup of plain Greek Yogurt
  • ¼ minced chives
  • 4 or 5 sprigs of mint minced
Instructions
  1. In a bowl mash-up your chickpeas with a potato masher or fork. It's fine if there are chunks as I prefer the texture with chunks of chickpeas.
  2. In your food processor add all the other ingredients (except the mozzarella) and whiz them up until combined.
  3. Mix the contents of the food processor into the bowl of the mashed chickpeas and mix until combined
  4. Roll the mixture into golfball-sized balls, press a cube of mozzarella in the middle and form a uniform sized ball with the mixture in your hand then set on a platter or baking sheet.
  5. Put in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours so the flavours have time to come together.
  6. In a deep-fryer heat up your oil and drop the falafel balls in one at a time and fry until golden brown.
  7. Remove from the deep-fryer and drain on paper towels.
  8. Serve with your choice of dipping sauce, tahini, hummus, tzatziki dip or homemade cucumber-yogurt feta sauce.
  9. Open your pita pouch, add in a few falafel balls, lettuce, tomato, onion, and your choice of sauce to make a falafel sandwich.
  10. Yogurt Feta Sauce Instructions
  11. Add all the ingredients except the feta to a bowl and mix together
  12. Fold in the feta cheese until combined
  13. Wrap and refrigerate overnight or for the 2 hours that the falafel balls are in the refrigerator

Discussion: What is your favourite type of dip?

Leave me your comments below and I’ll be sure to respond.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog.

Mr.CBB

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7 Comments

  1. How could one not click on that post title? This guy in Houston, whose restaurant we recently discovered, bakes his falafel and I was skeptical, but it is fantastic. Much like a soft, savory cookie, really. And he serves it up with exceelent hummus, not at all offensive with that overly tangy lemon flavor. We’ll be back there again and again.

    We must begin at once to dip everything in that yum-yum yogurt sauce!!! Thanks for sharing CBB!!!

  2. These look so good, I’d likely bake those babies as I don’t have a deep fryer and am a little nervous around hot fat. I’ll be sharing this with my daughter as she loves falafel!!!!!! It’s right up her alley!!

  3. How you managed to combine two of my favorite foods (chickpeas & yogurt) and they look like these amazing gorgeous meatballs! I am so impressed these are definitely going on the menu and I am hoping the guys will love them as much as I think I am going to love them ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great Sunday Mr. CBB ๐Ÿ™‚

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