This is a baked version of the classic deep-fried Middle Eastern mezze. The recipe is easy, and if you wanted, you could make these into bigger patties for “burgers” instead of rolling them into balls. My falafel is vegan, soy-free and gluten-free, and is also lower in fat than fried falafel. If you’re not sensitive to wheat, you could substitute the chickpea flour for all-purpose flour.
Makes 36 falafel balls
recipe adapted from design sponge.
2 1/2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in water
1 small sweet onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/2 cup chickpea flour (or gluten-free flour such as Bob’s Red Mill)
2 teaspoons garam masala (a combination of cumin seeds, cardamom pods, cloves, anise, turmeric, coriander)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Drain soaked chickpeas and rinse under cool water. In a blender or food processor, add the chickpeas, onion, garlic, cilantro and parsley: pulse until mixture is grainy. In a seperate bowl, combine the chickpea flour, garam masala, paprika, pepper, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the chickpea mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until well-combined. Mix in the olive oil. Gradually add the water, and mix until thick and paste-like (you may not need all the water – the mixture should hold together nicely when rolled into balls, but it shouldn’t be too dry either). Roll into balls about 2 tablespoons in size and place on baking sheet. Drizzle tops of falafel with a little olive oil (optional). Bake for 20 minutes, remove trays from oven and using a flat, metal spatula, carefully flip over falafel balls and drizzle with more olive oil if you’d like. Bake another 10-15 minutes until the falafel is golden brown.
Cucumber Tomato Salsa
6 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern street food, and is usually served in a warm pita-type bread with tahini sauce. Because we are now completely gluten-free, I served them as is with cucumber tomato salsa and chipotle hummus. This recipe makes a lot, so you will have plenty to share, or plenty of leftovers! The next day for lunch, we ate the leftovers on corn tortillas, which was delicious! If you make the falafels into larger patties, you could serve them on hamburger-style buns with sliced veggies and hummus. Be creative! Eat falafel!