I remember the first time I tried making falafels… it turned out to be a disaster. The smoke alarm went off, I had all the windows opened, all the fans were on, I was trying to clear a spot of fresh air by the smoke detector with a towel: it wasn’t a fun experience. But, I’ve improved a lot since then and I’ve decided it was time for me to confront my nemesis. And guess what? I won! Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 can (15oz) chickpeas or 1 1/3 cup raw chickpeas
- 1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley
- 1 egg
- 3 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon dry cilantro
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- Oil for frying
If you use raw chickpeas like I did, it’s important to soak them for 24 hours. I cooked mine for 2 hours in 3.5 cups of water. Just bring the water to a boil, cover and simmer until the chickpeas are tender. If too much water evaporates, you can add more hot water to your saucepan.
You also need to have bread crumbs ready. Depending on how thick you slice your bread, it should be 2-3 slices. I made fresh gluten-free bread a while ago and in preparation for this recipe, I cut a few slices in tiny pieces and froze them. To make bread crumbs, just pulse the bread pieces in the food processor and put aside.
Sautee the garlic and onion in butter until translucent and place them in a food processor. Add the chickpeas and fresh parsley (I actually had to use dry parsley, but I guarantee it’ll be better fresh). Pulse a few times. You want the consistency to be thick and pasty. If you pulse too much, it’ll be too thin. Place the mixture in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Beat the egg in a small bowl and add the remaining spices, lemon juice, baking soda and olive oil. Set aside.
Now, it’s time to mix everything together. First, add the egg mixture to the chickpeas and combine well. Then, add the bread crumbs, which will serve as a binding agent.
If you’ve ever made meatballs before, you know what to do next! Just form small-sized balls with the mixture and set aside.
Heat up oil (I used red palm oil) to 375F in a deep fryer and let the falafels cook about 4 minutes or until they are a rich golden color. And that’s it! Falafels may have kicked my butt a few years ago, but today, I won.
Serve with fresh cucumber sauce for an amazing combination of flavors.