Falafel happens to be one of the first vegetarian dishes I ever tasted and genuinely loved. It was also one of those dishes that I kept saying that I would have to make a recipe for, but kept putting off until I forgot about it completely. It did however come back to me when someone posted the suggestion of making a healthy, baked and gluten free version of the traditional Mediterranean falafel over on my Facebook page.
I wanted this to stay as true to the traditional version as possible, while still being completely healthy. This resulted in baking them as opposed to deep-frying. I initially wanted to make this using half and half of chickpeas and fava beans, but I was unable to find the latter anywhere. If you are more lucky with your search than I was, you can substitute half the chickpeas for fava beans. I served this along with a homemade tahini sauce and gluten-free wholemeal tortillas. Hopefully I will get both these recipes up within the following week. Until then, why not serve this next to some gluten-free naan bread?
Baked Vegan Chickpea Falafel Ingredients:
- 4 1/2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 – 4 tbsp brown rice flour (or you can use buckwheat flour)
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Pinch of ground cardamom
Baked Vegan Chickpea Falafel Directions:
- Start by preheating the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/400 degrees Fahrenheit. If using canned beans remember to drain and rinse them well. Place them into your food processor along with all the other ingredients. You can make this using a hand blender instead, though be careful not to over-blend the mixture. It should be somewhat grainy and not as smooth as hummus.
- Once the mixture reaches the desired consistency, transfer it to a bowl and use a fork to stir, removing any large chickpea chunks that the food processor missed.
- Using your palms, shape about 2 heaped tablespoons of the batter into a ball and place it on a baking tray lined with parchment. Repeat for a total of 15 – 20 falafels. Gently press the balls down using the palm of your hand, until it has a circular shape. Place the baking tray into the oven, initially for 15 minutes before carefully flipping them with a spatula and baking on the other side for another 15 minutes. If necessary, bake longer until the crust has a light golden colour.
- When the falafel is done allow it to cool for 10 minutes before serving with wholemeal tortillas, chopped vegetables and tahini sauce.