Making great falafel isn't hard, but it takes a few tricks. Learn how to how make delicious light, crispy chickpea fritters! They're vegan and gluten free!
Falafel is one of those things it seems you either love or hate. I've always been firmly in the falafel love camp, while it took a bit of convincing for Mr. Dreamboat to get here.
The problem was, my husband had had too many experiences with bad falafel. You know the ones - dry, flavorless - you might was well be chewing on a sawdust patty!
It's easy to make those bad sawdust falafel, but fortunately, once you've figured out a couple of tricks, it's also easy to make them great as well.
Tricks to making great Falafel:
There are a couple of keys to making great falafel. Once you know what they are, making them is pretty darn easy!
- Use dried chickpeas and soak them overnight. Canned chickpeas (or cooked chickpeas of any sort) are far too soft and will make mush instead of a light, crispy fritter.
- Make sure not to overprocess your falafel mixture. Use your food processor to get your chickpeas to finely chopped or coarsely minced. You still want to be able to identify individual bits of chickpea. This keeps the falafel light and airy and prevents them from getting too dense and dry.
- Add flour to your falafel mixture. I didn't learn this trick until recently. I used to get so frustrated making falafel because they always crumbled and fell apart while I was cooking. The flour (in this case chickpea flour) holds the mixture together, and no more crumbling!
- Dried chickpeas
- Chickpea flour
- Ground black pepper
- Canola oil for frying
Falafel are traditionally deep fried, but I always choose to pan-fry them in only a thin layer of canola oil to avoid waste and mess. I would like to think that frying in less oil means they absorb less oil, but it doesn't quite work that way.
Falafel are versatile and can be served for a meal or snack. Eat them with pita or any other flatbread as a sandwich, or simply dip them in tahini sauce or hummus and eat them on their own!
What to serve with Falafel:
Falafel Nutrition Notes:
The nutrition info in the recipe is for one 2" falafel. The actual fat content will vary slightly depending on the temperature of the cooking oil and how much oil is absorbed during cooking.
Falafel (Crispy Chickpea Fritters)
For the Falafel
- 1 cup dried chickpeas, picked over and rinsed
- 4 scallions, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup lightly packed parsley leaves
- ½ cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
- ¼ cup chickpea flour
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- canola oil for frying
- Soak chickpeas in a medium bowl in enough cold water to cover by at least 2 inches. Cover and allow to soak at room temperature overnight.
- Drain chickpeas and transfer to food processor. Add the scallions, parsley, cilantro, chickpea flour, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, and cinnamon. Process until the chickpeas are coarsely minced and the ingredients are evenly mixed. Do not over process so that the mixture forms a paste . Form mixture into 1.5-2" patties. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.
- Pour enough oil into a large skillet to cover the bottom. Heat over medium high. When oil is hot, carefully add the falafel patties to the oil. Cook until golden brown on the bottom. Flip and continue cooking until both sides are golden brown. Reduce heat to medium if the patties are browning too quickly. Carefully transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Keep warm in a 200°F oven if needed or serve immediately. Serve in a pita sandwich or on their own with tahini sauce or hummus.
Nutrition Disclaimer: I try my best to make sure the nutrition information I provide is accurate to provide you with the best information possible. However, due to ingredient discrepancies and other factors, the above nutrition information should be considered an estimation only.
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