VEGAN FALAFEL (GLUTEN FREE)
- 425 g can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley (or sub cilantro)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium shallots, minced (2 shallots yield ~ ¾ cup, or sub white onion)
- 2 tablespoon raw sesame seeds (or sub finely chopped nuts, such as pecans – I used sesame)
- 1½ teaspoons cumin, plus more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon each sea salt and black pepper, plus more to taste
- 1 healthy pinch each cardamom and coriander
- 3 – 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour, or sub oat flour or gluten-free blend with varied results
- 3 – 4 tablespoons avocado oil for cooking (or sub any neutral oil with a high smoke point)
- panko bread crumbs for coating, optional (I didn’t use it and also just pan fried not deep fried)
Add chickpeas, parsley, shallot, garlic, sesame seeds, cumin, salt, pepper (and coriander and cardamom if using) to a food processor or blender and mix/pulse to combine, scraping down sides as needed until thoroughly combined. You’re looking for a crumbly dough, not a paste.
Add flour 1 tablespoon at a time and pulse/mix to combine until no longer wet and you can mold the dough into a ball without it sticking to your hands – I used 4 tablespoons (amount as original recipe is written / adjust if altering batch size).
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. I added a bit more salt, pepper, and a dash of cardamom and coriander. You want the flavor to be pretty bold, so don’t be shy.
Transfer to a mixing bowl, cover and refrigerate for 1 – 2 hours to firm up. If you’re in a hurry you can chill in the freezer for 45 minutes or skip this step – but they will be a little more fragile when cooking.
Once chilled, scoop out rounded tablespoon amounts and gently form into 11 – 12 small discs.
Sprinkle on panko bread crumbs and gently press to adhere – flip and repeat. This will produce a crispier falafel, but it’s optional.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add enough oil to generously coat the pan – about 2 tablespoons. Swirl to coat.
If not cooking all of the falafel right away, FREEZE uncooked falafel between layers of parchment paper and store in a container in the freezer up to 1 month. Then just thaw and cook as instructed.
Once the oil is hot, add only as many falafel as will fit very comfortably in the pan at a time – about 5 – 7.
Cook for a total of 4 – 5 minutes, flipping when the underside is deep golden brown. Repeat until all falafel are browned – the deeper golden brown they are, the crispier they’ll be. They will also firm up more once slightly cooled.
Serve with wraps or with naan with garlic dill sauce or hummus.
Think guacamole can be nice too.
Recipe posted by Carmari Fourie Strobos
Photo: Carmari Fourie Strobos