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Easy Falafel

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Today was a busy day in the kitchen. I started with baking Pineapple Coconut Bread, then after lunch I set out making my very first batch ever of macarons. The macarons didn’t turn out perfectly but they tasted really good. More on those another time.

Because I had done so much baking already, I didn’t want to do an elaborate supper, so I went to a family favourite: falafels. If you’ve never had a falafel, they are patties that are made from chickpeas and parsley and other spices. They can be served as an appetizer with a dipping sauce or as we did, as the protein component of a vegetarian meal. Usually they are deep fried. I had attempted falafel a few times in past years with little success but finally found a recipe that worked for me a couple of years ago.

These aren’t traditional falafels, which are usually made from dried chickpeas and are deep fried, but they taste amazing! They couldn’t be easier to make either! The ingredients are pulsed in the food processor for a few seconds to blend them, then you stir in some flour and form them into small patties. After a rest in the fridge for about an hour, you pan fry them for a few minutes per side until golden. Then voila! They are ready to serve!

We like to serve ours as in a pita wrap. Tonight, along with the falafel I filled ours with a lightly dressed salad of lettuce, sliced carrots, cucumber and a bunch of fresh herbs like mint, cilantro and parsley. I also spread the pita with either tzatziki or hummus, depending on the request, and topped everything with pickled red onion, feta cheese and sunflower seeds.

I didn’t decide that I might write a blog post about these until halfway through cooking them, so there aren’t many pictures to go along with this post.

[recipe title=”Easy Falafel” servings=”4-6″ cooktime=”10 minutes” difficulty=”easy” description=”These quick and easy vegan falafel patties come together in seconds in the food processor. After a quick pan fry on each side, they are ready to serve! Seasonings may be adjusted to your taste.”]
– 1 15 oz (443 ml) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
– 1/3-1/2 cup (113 – 128 ml) chopped parsley
– 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 small onion, minced
– 2 tbsp (30 ml) tahini
– 2 tbsp (30 ml) sesame seeds
– 2 tsp (10 ml) ground cumin
– 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) each ground cardamom and coriander
– 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) salt
– black pepper to taste
– 3-4 tbsp (45-60ml) all-purpose flour
– 1/4 vegetable oil for frying (I use avocado because it has a high smoke point.)
1. Add chickpeas, parsley, garlic, onion, tahini, sesame seeds, cumin, cardamom, coriander, salt and pepper to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until well combined but some visible chunks are still present (you do not want a paste).
2. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in enough flour so that you can form a bit of the mixture into a ball that is not sticky. Taste the mixture and adjust seasonings as necessary.
3. Scoop about 1 tbsp of the mixture at a time and form into small patties. Place the patties on a baking tray.
4. When all patties are formed and placed on baking tray, cover the tray and chill in the fridge for at least one hour for the patties to firm up.
5. When ready to cook, heat 3 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Add as many falafel as will fit easily in the pan (you will need to do two batches). Fry for 2-4 minutes per side until golden brown.
6. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
7. To cook the 2nd batch add the remaining 1 tbsp (15 ml) oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add remaining falafel and cook as you did the first batch.

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