Gluten Free Falafels

Gluten free falafels with hummus and cucumber salad

I’ve always loved mediterranean dishes and falafels have long been a favorite.

As a child my parents introduced to foods from around the world. We enjoyed moroccan food fairly regularly, When we travelled to Greece, Turkey or Tunisia I was in heaven!

Steaming couscous, tangines and yes, mountains of freshly made falafels.

Until recently I had never attempted to make these myself, but in an effort to find healthy and tasty food options for my vegan daughter I decided to give them a try.

And voila!

I played around with a few different recipes and came up with this one to meet my gluten free needs and please my palate 🙂

Just a little warning these take a little but of time to make and you’ll want to plan ahead. They are well worth the effort so pick a day when you can enjoy a little extra time in the kitchen and enjoy!

You’ll want to start with raw, dried garbanzo beans and soak them overnight in about three inches of water or so. It’s a simple step that makes all the difference in the world in the texture and flavor of your falafels. Whatever you do, don’t use canned chickpeas. They are far too mushy.

I love a lot of flavor so I used a lot of fresh and dried herbs to come up with what I find the perfect combination. Feel free to adjust to your taste buds.

After draining your swollen beans you’ll toss them in the blender with the rest of your ingredients and make a coarse paste. You’ll need to refrigerate this paste for an hour or two before forming your falafel balls.

plate of raw falafel balls ready  to  be cooked

To obtain a nice crisp exterior with a soft and juicy middle you’ll need to deep fry your falafels. I used grapeseed oil for mine but you could use coconut or olive oil if you prefer. I chose to fry these in a deep frying pan with about 8 ounces of oils as I do not have a deep frier.

Once your falafels are cooked make sure to allow the excess oil to drain on a paper towel.

Cooked falafels drying on paper towel

Your finished falafels should have a nice golden color, be crisp on the outside but soft inside.

plate of cooked falafels

I savored my falafels on a simple red leaf lettuce spread with a little fresh hummus with a cucumber, garlic and fresh dill salad, while the girls stuffed theirs in a pita pocket.  For those who enjoy dairy I turned the cucumber salad into a delicious sauce by adding  my favorite whole milk yogurt, Siggy’s skyr.

siggy's whole milk skyr with cucumber dip ingredients

 

Gluten free falafels with hummus and cucumber salad
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5 from 4 votes

Gluten Free Falafels.

Course Entree
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 36
Author Valerie Remy-Milora

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried garbanzo beans soaked overnight do NOT use canned
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion coarsely chopped
  • 8-10 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 2 tbsp tablespoon almond or cashew meal
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cardamon
  • fresh ground salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable or Coconut oil for frying

Instructions

Preparing the Garbanzo beans

  • Place dried garbanzo beans in a bowl and cover with 3 to 4 inches of water. Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight.

Making the falafels

  • Drain and rinse garbanzo beans and place in the bowl of your food processor.
  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a small skillet. Add chopped onions and minced garlic. Sauté for a couple of minutes until onion is translucent.
  • Remove from heat and add onion and garlic to garbanzo beans.
  • Add chopped cilantro and parsley, almond or cashew meal, cumin, cardamon, salt and pepper.
  • Pulse until a coarse paste is formed, scraping sides and pulling up bottom of the mixture frequently.
  • Pour coarse paste into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
  • Remove paste from fridge and form into 1 inch balls.
  • In a large skillet heat vegetable or coconut oil. Heat oil slowly to avoid making it too hot or burning it.
  • Test oil with one of your falafel balls. The ball should stay together and begin to golden.
  • Cook falafel balls for about 5 minutes on each side, turning as needed.
  • Remove cooked falafels from oil and drain on a paper towel.
  • Serve hot.

 

Comments

  1. Debbie Welchert says:

    I have never had falafels before and these sound so good. I really have to give these a try.

  2. john hutchens says:

    I love falafels but have never tried to make them. Yours look delicious. I will have to try this recipe.

  3. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    Uh YUM! I love falafels. The first time I have ever had one was from a street cart in NYC and I Have been hooked ever since.

  4. Oh thanks for sharing these. I haven’t enjoyed any falafels since I have gone gluten free. I think I will try these out as soon as the heat of summer is gone.

    • Once you decide to eat gluten free you realize how many foods have gluten Trish. It’s crazy! Thankfully with so many of us making that choice we have a lot of option for flours and grains to pick from.

  5. I’ve never tried making my own falafels. This sounds like a yummy way to mix it up and get our Meatless Mondays a little more interesting.

    • I love mixing it up Crystal and my family seems to enjoy sampling different flavors. With my daughter’s decision to become a vegan we are eating meatless at most of our meals now, and we are rather enjoying it 🙂

  6. Alicia Boarts says:

    These look good. Thanks for the tip on dried rather than canned garbanzo beans, I would think they would be mushy with canned

  7. Oh yum! I absolutely love falafels but have never attempted to make them on my own…yet!

  8. I’ve never had falafel. But that looks good!! I’ll add them to next week’s menu for sure!

    • OH I would love to know what you think of them after you try them Sara! I love all foods with a little exotic flair and try to serve my family a variety of flavors so we never get bored 🙂

  9. I love falafel, but haven’t made it in years. I guess I am long overdue & should remedy that.

  10. I don’t believe I’ve ever tried falafels before. These sound easy to make and certainly look yummy.

  11. I love falafels! Seeing this recipe brings back good memories of when I was in high school and my best friends mom use to make these all the time.

  12. Janette Fuschi says:

    I love falafel and these have so much flavor. I have to try this recipe.

  13. I’ve actually never had falafel before. Yours look so good I think I’m going to have to change that, though!

  14. alicia szemon says:

    I have never heard about falafels before so it is interesting to see what they are!

  15. Sarah Phillips says:

    I’ve never had falafels before, but I’ve always wanted to try them. I’ve been hesitant in the past because of my sensitive stomach, but this gluten-free version has me ready to try it! I trust the ingredients required to make this recipe…the combination of flavors sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  16. I have never made these from dried beans before, thank you for sharing your recipe with us!

  17. Susan Broughton says:

    This is such an inventive recipe! I am going to try it for sure!

  18. Amber Ludwig says:

    My hubby just discovered falafel and he actually likes it!! Yay!! I need to try these!! I love it too so its on my dinner list now 😉

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