How many falafel recipes can one person have on their blog?
Either I’ve lost my mind or I’m getting really good at making falafel. Fingers crossed it’s the latter.
We’ve been exploring our new Portland neighborhood for about a month now, and we’re getting to know our favorite food spots (very important on our list of priorities).
One place I’m loving is Wolf and Bear, which serves up vegetarian and vegan Middle Eastern food with lots of gluten-free options. My go-to has been the gomasio salad with falafel. You can add two but I ask for three, because obviously.
Now that I’ve had this falafel a few times, I’ve studied its flavors and texture and was convinced it was time to up my falafel game. I think you know where this is going.
Origins of Falafel
The origin of falafel is an ongoing and heated debate. Some would say it’s a quintessential Israeli food, while Palestinians claim its Arab roots, and still others claim it originated in Egypt, Lebanon, or Yemen.
While we claim no expertise on the origins of falafel, we do know we absolutely love its crispy texture and rich flavor. Falafel is traditionally a fried ball or patty made from fava beans, chickpeas, or both. What’s not to love?
How to Make Falafel
This recipe requires just 10 ingredients and is expedited with the help of a quick-soak chickpea method I borrowed from The Kitchn.
The primary differences between this recipe and my previous attempts are that I start with dry chickpeas, and instead of baking, they’re pan-fried – two improvements I believe make all the difference.
The ingredients are so simple, and the flavors are complex and wonderful.
Soaked chickpeas are blended with onion, garlic, parsley, cumin, cardamom, coriander, and sea salt. A little gluten-free oat flour keeps these gluten free while also helping them bind/form into a dough. After letting the mixture chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour, simply form into balls or discs and pan fry. Look at the crispy, golden perfection. Swoon! Find my selection of go-to sauces in the instructions.
We hope you love these falafel. If you try them, let us know what you think! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a picture #minimalistbaker on Instagram! We’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!
Classic Vegan Falafel (GF)
- 1 1/2 cups dry chickpeas
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped white onion
- 5-7 medium cloves garlic
- 2 Tbsp gluten-free oat flour (or gluten-free flour blend)
- 1 – 1 1/2 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)
- 2-3 tsp ground cumin
- 1 pinch ground cardamom
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
- Grape seed (or other high smoke point) oil for pan frying
- Rinse (uncooked) chickpeas in a fine mesh strainer and add to a large pot. Cover with 2 inches water and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute. Then cover, remove from heat, and let set for 1 hour. Then drain and lightly rinse and dry thoroughly (method from the Kitchn).
- In the meantime, add parsley, onion, and garlic to a food processor. Mix until well processed. Set aside.
- Once the chickpeas are slightly cooled and dried, add to the food processor, along with gluten-free oat flour, salt, cumin, cardamom, coriander, and cayenne (optional). Mix to combine thoroughly, scraping down sides as needed. This may take up to 4-5 minutes to fully incorporate all of the spices and herbs. You’re looking for a near paste with only very small bits of chickpeas and herbs.
- Sample a small bit and adjust spices/salt/herbs as needed. Then cover and set in the refrigerator for 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld and the texture to become more firm.
- Once cooled, remove from refrigerator and scoop out 1 1/2 Tbsp amounts (using this scoop or a Tablespoon) and gently form into small discs using your hands. If the falafel isn’t sticking together the mixture may need to be blended more thoroughly, or dusted with a bit more oat flour if too wet.
- Once your falafels are formed (~24 total // amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size), heat a large metal or cast-iron skillet over medium/medium-high heat. Once hot, add enough oil to create a thin layer on the bottom of the pan and wait 1-2 minutes for the oil to heat up. Then place only as many falafel as will fit comfortably in the pan and cook 2-3 minutes on each side. Once the bottom side is browned, flip gently as they can be fragile. Continue until all falafel are cooked. Adjust heat as needed if they’re browning too quickly, or aren’t cooking quickly enough.
- To freeze, pan fry falafel and let cool. Then add to a freezer safe container and freeze up to 1 month. Reheat in a 375 degree F (190 C) oven until warmed through.
*Recipe adapted from the talented Tori Avey.