Moist and Crunchy Vegan Falafel
Falafel is one of those things that’s a bit hit or miss. Some places you go to have the most amazingly crunchy falafels that melt in your mouth, others are dry and not appetising at all. These vegan falafel are moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside, just how they are supposed to be.
I love to serve them with corn chips and hummus. Guests can choose what they want to dip with. Either buy a good hummus and decorate it up with some olive oil and paprika, or make your own at home. There’s plenty of great hummus variations around for you to try.
Something about that golden crumb in the bottom of the food processor bowl that makes me want to dive in! But alas, I wait until the finished product. Or do I?
I find that rolling the falafel with slightly moist hands stops it sticking to me as much. Just find what works for you to get the perfectly rolled falafel.
What I can’t stand is disc shaped falafel, like the ones you get at big chain fast food places. Machine pressed with no love. You won’t find those at my place!
I love hearing the sizzle of these vegan falafel shallow frying in the pan. Watching the outer surface change colour from the ground up. Slowly getting ready to be turned. It’s almost like mediation, watching them cook.
I’ve been playing with a couple of variations to try and get a great crunch whilst still being soft inside, and I think I’ve nailed it. See the recipe below.
Moist and Crunchy Vegan Falafel
- 2 cups Chickpeas this is the volume after you have soaked and cooked the chickpeas according to packet instructions. It's around 1 cup of dried chickpeas.
- 1 small onion (chopped)
- 10 grams Parsley (chopped)
- 2 tbsp Chickpea Flour you can use regular flour too
- 1.5 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 0.5 tsp Ground Coriander
- .25 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- .25 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 2 tbsp Aquafaba the water from a can of chickpeas
- Canola Oil for frying
- I used chickpeas that I had already soaked, drained and aired to dry before refrigerating the previous day. I just followed the packet instructions for this. Some recipes want you to keep the chickpeas raw, but I cooked them and it turned out well.
- Place the prepared chickpeas, chopped onion, chopped garlic, parsley, flour, salt, cumin, coriander, black pepper and ceyeene pepper in food processor. Mine is quite big, smaller ones would do too but may require you to work in batches.
- Pulse the ingredients a few times and a course mix will form. Scraping occasionally as you work, keep pulsing and add the aquafaba. Don't let the food processor run continuously otherwise it'll end up too smooth, you want it chunky without any obvious big pieces of chickpea.
- Check the consistency of the mixture. If you try to press it into a ball and it isn't sticking together, add some more four and aquafaba or even a dash of regular water and pulse some more. Don't add too much liquid, you don't want it turning runny, you just want enough flour and water to hold the balls together.
- Once it's a course regular sized consistency remove the blades from the food processor and use a fork to fluff the mixture up.
- Use a tablespoon measure to scoop out mixture into your hands. You may find damp hands make the falafel easier to roll. Roll into balls and place to the side on a plate. You can make them as big or small as you like, I prefer them medium size but smaller ones obviously have more crunch when all is said and done.
- Fill a medium to large size fry pan with oil so that it comes up to about half the width of the falafels. Your'e going to turn them so you don't need to fill the pan. Heat over medium heat until the oil reaches around 180 degrees Celsius, or if you don't have a thermometer test a little falafel in the oil once it's hot and make sure it isn't cooking too quickly. There will be excess smoke and burning if it's up too high, it should take around 4 or 5 minutes for them to go golden on each side.
- Use tongs, or a slotted spoon to remove from the pan once brown on both sides and rest on a wire rack so they stay crispy. I did mine in two batches of 6, but it really depends on the size of your fry pan. Try not to over crowd the pan and make sure you let the oil reheat for the second/third batch.
- After they've cooled a little break them open, season with some more salt if desired and eat however you like. I served mine with some home made hummus, recipe coming soon for that one.