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Classic Falafel – Vegan, and Gluten-Optional!

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Classic Falafel – Vegan, and Gluten-Optional!

Eat a good falafel once and you understand why they are so loved. Crunchy on the outside, fluffy and bread-like on the inside. Packed with earthy, fresh, lemony herbaceous flavor, they taste sinful, but are actually all good! If you dip them into cool creamy tzatziki sauce, you have taken them to yet another level. Add bright summer tomatoes and crisp lettuce, then throw it all on flatbread and you have an unbeatable lunch or dinner.

The perk: its all plants. …well, except for the tzatziki sauce, but even that it packed with cucumber (and you could do a vegan version of that too). All those textures and savory flavors scream plant-based diet suitable for anyone, including carnivores.

falafel

falafel

Here’s how… So Easy!

Soak chickpeas in water and let them sit overnight. You do not have to cook them or anything! Just soak them; it couldn’t be easier.

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Here is your flavor, your texture, all the yumminess you need.

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Drain chickpeas (after they have soaked overnight). Lay them out to somewhat dry. You do not want them to be soaking wet. Finely mince parsley, cilantro, and garlic.

You can use any combination of parsley and cilantro that you like. I like either equal parts, or a little more parsley than cilantro.

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Put all ingredients, except flour, into a food processor. Pulse until the chickpeas are minced. In order to have a nice texture with a bite, do not turn your mixture into mush. Taste and adjust seasonings and salt, if desired.

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Scrape down the sides and pulse once more.

If you feel you need a bit of a binder, you can add chickpea flour or all purpose flour. Pulse a couple more times just to incorporate the flour.

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In a sauce pot, heat cooking oil. I like coconut oil for its digestibility. Peanut oil is also good. Any oil that can withstand high heat will work. Using a portion scoop for uniformity, or just your hands, form little balls.

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Fry them until they are golden brown on all sides, flipping as needed. Remove falafel from oil using a slotted heat-safe spoon and set aside to drain, either on a rack or paper towels.

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Serve falafels over salad, or rice, or in a pita pocket or on flatbread with tzatziki sauce, tomato, lettuce, and cucumber.

falafel

falafel

falafel

falafel

Classic Falafel – Vegan, and Gluten Optional

As-is, this recipe is delicious! But it is also easily customizable. Change up the flavors around anyway you like! Make them more lemony, add heat, whatever floats your falafel boat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked in water overnight
  • 1 cup combination of parsley and cilantro, minced (equal parts, 1/2 cup each is very good)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion (about one small onion)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1/4 t. coriander
  • 1/4 t. paprika
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 t. lemon juice
  • 1 t. salt (or to taste)
  • optional: cayenne, to taste (if you can take the heat, this is highly recommended)
  • optional binder: chickpea flour or all purpose flour (1 T or more, as desired)
  • cooking oil, enough to fry falafel (I like coconut oil, or a blend of peanut and coconut oils)

Method

Drain chickpeas (they should have soaked overnight). Lay them out to somewhat dry. You do not want them to be soaking wet. Finely mince parsley, cilantro, and garlic. Put all ingredients, except flour, into a food processor. Pulse until the chickpeas are minced. In order to have a nice texture with a bite, do not turn your mixture into mush. Taste and adjust seasonings and salt, if desired.

If you feel you need a bit of a binder, you can add chickpea flour or all purpose flour. Pulse a couple more times just to incorporate the flour.

In a sauce pot, heat cooking oil. I like coconut oil for its digestibility. Peanut oil is also good. Any oil that can withstand high heat will work. Using a portion scoop for uniformity, or just your hands, form little balls. In pot of cooking oil at medium- high heat, fry falafel until they are golden brown on all sides, flipping as needed. Remove falafel from oil using a slotted heat-safe spoon and set aside to drain, either on a rack or paper towels.

Serve falafels over salad, or rice, or in a pita pocket or on flatbread with tzatziki sauce, tomato, lettuce, and cucumber.

Enjoy!

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