I've been working on this vegan falafel recipe for over a year now, and by George, I've got it. About time, right? There have been piles of little notes written about this and countless incarnations of chickpea patties filling my belly (tasty and not so tasty). These babies are crispy without being dry, don't need the often required egg, and are extra fast to throw together in a food processor. If you don't have a food processor, never fear! Use a potato masher, or, if you're really short of kitchen gadgets, a fork. You must have a fork floating around somewhere. Try under the bed.
I recommend using soaked and cooked chickpeas for this recipe over canned. Cooking legumes saves a bunch of money, and the results are healthier and tastier. If you're pressed for time, and less broke than we are, a can will work fine. You can also substitute peanut butter for tahini paste, use whatever combination of parsley/cilantro you want, and change up the spices if you want. If you keep roughly the same measurements, they'll turn out. I measured everything carefully for this recipe, but I usually just throw a bunch of ingredients in my food processor and just add extra tahini or breadcrumbs, depending on whether it's too dry or too mushy.
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Buttercup was not impressed.
1/2 cup onion (1 smallish onion)
3-5 cloves garlic*
1/2 cup fresh parsley/cilantro, or a combination*
2 cups chickpeas, cooked or canned
1/4 cup tahini paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon maple syrup
3 tablespoons ground flax
3 tablespoons bread crumbs*
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Salt, pepper, and hot pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the onion, garlic, and herbs until finely chopped.
Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until the mixture is sort of smooth but with some pieces of chickpea (see the photo below).
Form the mixture into small balls and place on the baking sheet, leaving a space between each to allow for browning. Go for about 4 cm by 4 cm. Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping gently at the halfway mark. I just use my fingers to flip them.
Try these with yogurt (sub cilantro/parsley for the dill), hemp, or avocado sauce!
1. Increase or decrease the amount of garlic as you'd like. I usually use five or six, but I love garlic.
2. Seriously, use the fresh herbs. They're just not the same without it.
3. Use gluten free bread crumbs to make them gluten free, or double the amount of flax and decrease the tahini by a tablespoon. They won't be quite as crispy without breadcrumbs.
This is what you want your mixture to look like.