We firmly believe that good falafel is worth the work, and bad falafel is not worth eating. Our Grain-Free Falafel is based on a traditional preparation, using dried beans (never canned), fresh herbs and garlic, and grain-free flour. We like to use egg whites to lighten the batter texture and hold things together, but a flax egg can be used instead to keep this recipe vegan.
Our Grain-Free Falafel can be fried in oil or baked. The fried version (right side of picture) retains more internal moisture and herbal flavor, while the baked version (left side of picture) is a bit crunchier and keeps its texture even when refrigerated as leftovers. At 5-6 balls per serving, this recipe makes enough to feed a crowd, but the batter can be divided in half and frozen to cook later.Print
- 1 16-ounce bag dried chickpeas/garbanzo beans, soaked 12 hours and drained
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 6 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 egg whites (use flax eggs for vegan option)*
- 1 lemon, half juiced, and half cut into wedges for serving
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves, loosely packed
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, loosely packed
- 3 tbsp Anthony’s arrowroot flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
- Cooking options: 1 cup grapeseed oil for frying (best flavor/texture) or 1/4 cup grapeseed oil for baking
- Optional: Tahini Yogurt Dipping Sauce, sesame seeds, lettuce, cucumbers or pickles, tomatoes, lemon wedges, or try our Soft Grain-Free Tortillas in place of pitas.
Doing the Prep
- Rinse the chickpeas thoroughly and place in a large bowl covered with cold water that is 3-4 inches above the beans. Soak at least 12 hours, then drain, rinse, and divide the chickpeas evenly so you can work in two batches to ensure even consistency.
- In a small bowl, combine the flours. In a second small bowl, combine the salt and spices. In a third, medium-sized bowl, combine parsley, cilantro, onion and garlic.
- Place half of the first batch of chickpeas into a large food processor, sprinkle half of the seasoning mixture on top, and add half of the onion and herb mixture, then add the remaining chickpeas. Pulse until everything is finely minced but not smooth. We like ours on the chunky side to add texture and crunch, but it also has to be processed enough to stick together.
- Empty the first batch into a large bowl and repeat with the second batch. Add the second finish batch to the large bowl and mix well. Add the flour mixture and combine completely. If you will be freezing half of the batch, divide it now, before adding the egg whites/flax eggs. If you are preparing the full batch now, add both egg whites or flax egg and mix well. If preparing half a batch, add one egg white or equivalent in flax egg.
- After adding the egg, see if you can make a ball that sticks together well. If not, the mixture may be too chunky. Take a 1/4 of the mixture and process until almost smooth. Return the smooth mixture to the bowl and mix everything together. Now you’re ready to go.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, and up to four. You want the mixture to be cold when forming the balls/patties. This is great for prepping ahead for a party.
Frying the Falafel
- For best control and even cooking, we use an 8-inch skillet for frying in small batches. The oil should be about an inch deep, so half of each ball/patty is submerged at a time. Heat the oil thoroughly over medium heat to 370-375 degrees F. Check with a candy thermometer or make a test falafel. If you are using a deep fryer, set it to about 370 degrees F.
- The trick is to get a deep golden crust on the outside while cooking the inside completely but not drying it out.
- Shape the prepared mixture into balls, about 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons each. Pat the balls slightly to form thick patties, then gently place into the oil. You can fit 6-8 in the pan at a time. When the bottom side is deep golden brown, flip the falafel and cook the other side. Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon and transfer to a large plate lined with paper towels to drain for a few minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately.
Baking the Falafel
- Place oven racks in center and one below center position and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper, and generously brush the parchment with grapeseed oil. Set aside.
- Shape the prepared mixture into balls, about 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons each. Pat the balls slightly to form thick patties, place them on the baking sheets, and brush the tops generously with grapeseed oil. Bake for 25 minutes, then flip the patties and rotate the trays between the two racks to ensure even cooking. Bake another 15-20 minutes, then remove from oven, plate and serve immediately.
Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container up to 4 days.
*If freezing half of the uncooked mixture, wait to add egg or flax egg until defrosted and ready to cook.
Total prep time does not include soaking and refrigeration time.
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