Gluten Free Vegan Falafel

Hello Foodies!  Hope all is well in your world.  How about something other than Indian Cuisine?  Does Mediterranean Falafel sound good?  Gluten Free Vegan Chickpea Falafel is part of our midweek menu.  Deep fried, yet protein rich appetizer.  Someday when I try an air-fried or baked version of falafel, I'll definitely update it here.

Ingredients:

Dry Chickpeas - 1 cup

Green Onions/Spring Onions - 3 sprigs

Cilantro/Coriander Leaves - about 1/2 cup

Thai Green Chilies - 2

Chickpea Flour/Besan - about 2 tbsp

Corn Starch - 1 tbsp

White Sesame Seeds/Til - about 2 tsp

Ground Black Pepper - 1/2 tsp

Ground Coriander/Dhane/Dhaniya - 1 tsp

Ground Cumin/Jeera - 1 tsp

Salt

Oil for deep frying

How to cook Vegan Falafel:

  • Soak dry chickpeas in plenty of water overnight.  After soaking, chickpeas will double to triple their size.
  • Wash soaked chickpeas 3 - 4 times with water. Drain the water completely.

  • In a food processor, add drained chickpeas, green onions (both whites and greens), green chilies and cilantro. Do not add any water. Green onions and cilantro have enough moisture.  Pulse until chickpeas are coarse and granular. 
  • Add 3 - 4 garlic cloves in the food processor if you like.  Regular white, yellow or red onions are a good alternative for green onions.

  • In a mixing bowl, add ground chickpeas and all the seasonings - sesame seeds, black pepper powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt.
  • Lastly, add flour for binding. Start with 1 tbsp of corn starch and 1 tbsp of chickpea flour. Mix well and check if you can make balls of the ground mixture. I added another 1 tbsp of chickpea flour.  Corn starch adds a little bit of crunch.  Rice flour is a good alternative for corn starch.

  • Too much of flour will make falafel hard. Too little of flour will make falafel fall apart while deep frying. Add flour little at a time. I used gluten free flours. You can use all purpose flour (maida) or whole wheat flour as well.
  • Divide and roll the dough into small balls, 16 - 18.  Deep fry one ball in medium hot oil for 5 - 6 minutes, until golden brown on all sides. Taste for seasonings.  Deep fry the dough balls in batches and do not overcrowd the frying pan.
  • Serve Falafel with a dip of your choice. I made a cucumber yogurt dip. Mix 1/2 cup of yogurt with 1/2 cup of grated cucumber. Season with salt and pepper and your dip is ready.

Enjoy Falafel as a crunchy appetizer or as a sandwich with pita bread, lettuce, tomatoes!

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