You know you’re well and truly on the hippy train when you have friends over for a bbq and serve them falafel!
The last time I made falafel I used tinned chickpeas, that’s a big no no when it comes to making a sturdy falafel that doesn’t disintegrate when hitting the frying pan. It was only after watching the Hairy Bikers in Egypt, exploring the traditional and local foods that I realised where I had been going wrong all along… you don’t cook them first!
So the trick is to use dried chickpeas and soak them overnight (no boiling required) or if you’re in a rush bring the dried chickpeas to a boil for 5mins and leave them to sit in the hot water with the lid on (off the heat) for an hour, then you drain and dry them before whizzing them up with all your herbs and spices.
The next tip is to blend them up as much as humanly possible, the finer you get the mixture the better they will hold their shape, this will take a few minutes and you’ll have to keep scraping the sides down and whizzing the mix over and over but it’s worth it for the end result.
When you make falafel from scratch at home they’re so different from the boring mushy balls you get in a pre-prepared falafel wrap from a supermarket/cafe. This way you can pack them full of flavour and you get to experience eating them warm before they lose a bit of that outer crunch on the sides.
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! Please share and pop a comment in the section below to let us know how you got on and don’t forget to tag your photos on instagram #theartofveg so we can see your falafel inspired creations too!
- 1+1/2 cups (300 g) dry chickpeas
- ½ cup (85 g) diced white onion
- ½ cup (25 g) finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp rice flour (or other flour would be fine)
- 4 large cloves garlic (24 g)
- 1+1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- A pinch cayenne pepper
- A pinch of ground cardamom (crack open the pods and grind the seeds inside)
- Vegetable oil for pan frying
- Soak your chickpeas overnight in plenty of water or bring the dried chickpeas to a boil for 5mins, turn the heat off and leave them to sit in the hot water for 1 hour.
- Drain well and pat them dry with a clean tea towel or kitchen paper, if you have a salad spinner spin give them a good spin for a minute.
- Add the onion, garlic and parsley to a food processor and whizz until well combined.
- When the chickpeas have cooled off add them to the food processor along with the salt, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, cardamom and flour and process until well combined, keep scraping down the sides and pulsing until the mixture is a fine as possible, the finer you get the mix the easier the falafel balls will hold together when it comes to frying them up, taste test a small piece and adjust seasoning to taste.
- When the mixture is as smooth as you can get it scrape it out into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for an hour to let everything cool off and the flavours mingle.
- COOK Using a tablespoon scoop out a heaped spoonful of the mixture and with your hands mold into a ball, flatten the ball with the palms of your hands and place on a plate, repeat until all the mixture has gone.
- In a large skillet or frying pan add enough oil to fill the bottom, put onto a medium heat and once the oil is hot fry the falafel for about 3mins on each side, try not to overcrowd the pan as it makes it harder to flip them over.
- Best served on a warm pitta with salad, tahini dressing (see notes) and sweet chilli sauce.
1 small tub of vegan unsweetened yogurt
1 heaped tsp tahini
1/2 tsp garlic granules
3/4 tsp salt
A little water to loosen the dressing up to the consistency you want it.
*If the falafels are not holding together it could be that you need to whizz the mixture up for longer, just when you think you have done it enough do it a bit more, the finer you get the mixture the better it will hold.
*If the mixture is to wet add a little flour to dry it out.
To freeze: Roll the uncooked mix into slightly flattened balls, pop them in a tupperware and freeze.
*Let them completely defrost before frying.
The Minimalist Baker - Classic Vegan Falafel
Other recipes on this blog: