Don’t ask why but I’m craving fried food these days. So this is what happens when I forget to soak chickpeas for falafels the night before. Fried sweet potato quinoa balls come to the rescue. And I have to say I love these köfte balls just as much as falafels! Crispy on the outside and super soft on the inside.
These köfte-like balls are flavored with A LOT of spices and served with a creamy tahini mint sauce.
This recipe comes together in a little more than 1 hour but is very easy to make and requires basic ingredients. Quinoa makes the base, with onion, garlic, sriracha for a hint of heat, fresh parsley, and ras el hanout.
If you don’t have ras el hanout, I included a mix of spices to use. I actually prefer to use my own mix because every ras el hanout mix tastes different and some have way too many cloves in it, at least for my taste.
Sweet potato acts as the binder and adds moisture to the köfte balls, not to mention it adds a lot of flavors and a little bit of sweetness.
Once your quinoa is cooked and your sweet potato roasted, you combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until everything is combined. Then form balls, or patties, or your favorite shape, roll in the breadcrumbs mixture and fry.
Did I mention each ball is packed with 3g of protein? That makes a good excuse to eat three, or four.
You can serve these with sautéed spinach, kale or your favorite greens, the tahini mint sauce on the side and some pita bread. I’m sure it would also be delicious with homemade hummus!
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
Sweet Potato Quinoa Köfte
- Yield: 10 Köftes 1x
- 1 small sweet potato (about 3/4 cup puree)
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sriracha
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 small onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp Ras el hanout (or: 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp coriander, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp cardamom, a pinch of ground cloves)
- 1/2 tsp maple syrup
- 1 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
- Vegetable oil for frying
Tahini Mint Dressing
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 3–4 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash the sweet potato and pat dry using a paper towel. Prick the sweet potato a few times with a sharp knife. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the sweet potato is soft and cooked through.
- Combine the quinoa, water and in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 20 minutes, until no water remains. Once cooked, drain the quinoa to make sure there is no water left.
- Add the cooked quinoa, sriracha, tomato paste, garlic, onion, parsley, spices and maple syrup to a food processor. Remove the skin of the sweet potato and add the flesh (about 3/4 cup) to the bowl of the food processor. Process for 15-20 seconds until everything is well combined and sticks together. If the mixture is too soft or sticky, add 1/4 cup oat or chickpea flour at a time until you can form balls with your hands.
- Fill a small bowl with breadcrumbs. Form the quinoa mixture into balls, or the desired shape and dip each in the breadcrumbs, making sure to coat it completely. Place the balls on a large plate or baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Once hot, fry the köfte balls, 3-4 at a time until golden brown. I fried mine 6 minutes, turning them halfway through. Drain on paper towels before serving.
- Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix until well combined. Add more water to thin out if necessary.
I recommend measuring the sweet potato flesh otherwise you might add too much and the mixture will be too soft.
You can use a mix of fresh parsley, mint, and basil instead of just parsley for added flavor.
Köfte balls are also delicious with barbecue sauce if you are not a fan of tahini. I recommend offering both when serving to guests.
Nutritional information doesn’t include frying oil.
- Serving Size: 1 Köfte Ball
- Calories: 84
- Sugar: 1.1g
- Fat: 1.1g
- Carbohydrates: 15.8g
- Fiber: 1.7g
- Protein: 3g