Falafel are one of the vegan whole food basics that everybody should know how to do. It doesn’t take much effort, nor much money to make great crispy vegan falafel. All you need is basic cooking equipment and a food processor or blender.
Protein rich finger food
You can have falafel in many ways. Put them in a pita with salad and dressing. Bring them as a cold snack to work. Make them part of a bowl. Stack them onto a burger. Whatever you do, you will always enjoy a nutritious and protein rich snack when going for falafel. Their high fibre contents are not only great for diabetics, the second meal effect of legumes also positively impacts your blood glucose rise the next morning.
A perfect companion for crispy vegan falafel
Another great recipe from the middle eastern and mediterranean cuisine is tahini sauce. This sauce tingles your senses with a sharp bite of garlic accompanied by the sour notes of fresh lemon. The vitamin C of the lemon juice helps the absorption of iron and calcium, which you find in both sesame and chick peas. All in all, tahini sauce and falafel are a great play together.
Preparing of the dough
Making fresh falafel is cheap and easy. You can find dried chickpeas for little money around every corner. The rest of the ingredients are pretty basic too. All you need to do is bringing the chickpeas to a quick boil and then let them rest for one hour in the hot water. Meanwhile you can chop the fresh parsley, onion and garlic and get everything else ready in the blender.
Have it your way
You can prepare falafel in many ways. Either bake them in the oven for an oil free experience, or deep fry them for a restaurant like, all around crispy experience. And if you just want your falafel quick and easy, fry them in a pan.
crispy vegan falafel
- Blender or food processor
- 400 g chickpeas dry
- 50 g parsley fresh, chopped
- 1 onion medium sized
- 3 garlic cloves minced or pressed
- 50 g chickpea flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- sunflower oil for frying
- Get those 400g of chickpeas in some water and bring it to a quick boil. When reaching a good boiling temperature, turn off the stove and let the chickpeas rest in the hot water for one hour. Rinse them afterwards and let them air dry a bit.
- Chop the parsley, peel the garlic and add all ingredients to the blender. Blend at medium to high speed until you are happy with the mass. It doesnt really matter if you blend a chunky mass or a fine even cream. I personally prefer some variety in my bite, so I usually try not to blend things too long.The result should be somewhat crumbly, but sticky when pressed together.
The no oil baking way
- This variant can be considered the most healthy. Preheat the oven to 210°C / 410°F.
- When baking, you should make sure the falafel don't get too big, so that they get properly cooked on the inside. Take some mass and shape round nuggets, a little smaller than a table tennis ball. In this method you might come up wth 30 instead of 20 falafel.
- Distribute them on a baking tray and bake them for approximately 20-25 minutes or until they turn brown.
The deep fry way
- This one gives you the best crisp all around. Restaurant style. This time, shape table tennis ball sized croquets. After shaping, let them rest for 10 minutes. The surface will dry out a bit and you can pat them once more. Like this, they will soak up less oil during the frying.
- Heat some high smoke point oil like sunflower or grape seed oil in a small pot. You can test the heat with a wooden toothpick: if little bubbles come up, the temperature is high enough.
- Fry the falafel for 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown.
The pan fry way
- This way is a bit more oil sparing than deep frying. A good compromise that also allows shaping falafel burgers. Go for the same size as before, or double up.
- After shaping the balls, make sure to press the dough into a disk, not thicker than 3-4 cm. Let them dry and pat them again, in order to keep more oil out during the frying.
- Heat up the oil in a pan to medium high heat and start frying. One side should need around 2-3 minutes each.