Vegetable falafels are a delicious snack perfect for any time of day. Whether you’re looking for a quick breakfast idea or need something to tide you over until dinner, falafels are the perfect go-to food.
The problem is – making perfect vegetable falafels can be tricky…
— if you don’t know what you’re doing, they can turn out soggy and flavorless. That’s why I’m here to share with you my secrets on how to make vegetable falafels that will make your taste buds jump with joy!
What are Falafels?
The Falafel is a beloved snack throughout the Middle East and beyond, with a history that stretches back centuries. Widely considered to be a Middle Eastern food, it is believed to have originated in Egypt and then spread to neighboring countries like Morocco and Saudi Arabia. While its exact origins are unknown, many agree that no single group can take credit for its invention.
The primary ingredients in falafel are chickpeas, herbs, spices, and sometimes onions and garlic. There are variations on the recipe across the region and beyond, but most versions use a mixture of freshly ground chickpeas or fava beans as the base.
Vegetable Falafels Ingredients
- 1 cup of cooked chickpeas (or fava beans)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 cup of chopped onion
- 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons of flour (you can use all purpose or whole wheat)
- 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Oil for frying (any oil works, but I prefer olive oil)
1. Mash the chickpeas until they form a paste-like consistency.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together the garlic, onion and parsley.
3. Add this mixture to the mashed chickpeas along with the flour, cumin, coriander and salt & pepper.
4. Mix everything together with a spoon to form the falafel mixture.
5. Take a spoonful of the mixture in your hands and roll it into small, bite-sized balls.
6. Heat up some oil in a pan over medium heat and drop the falafel balls into the oil.
7. Fry for about 3-4 minutes before flipping over, and continue to fry until the balls are golden brown on both sides.
8. Remove from heat and place on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
9. Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce, or enjoy them alone!
Vegetable Falafels – Common Mistakes
One of the most common errors cooks make when trying to make falafels is using the wrong ingredients.
- Sometimes, cooks try to substitute the chickpeas for canned beans or other legumes, which can lead to a dry and bland taste.
- Additionally, using too much flour can make the mixture too dense, making it difficult for them to cook evenly.
- To ensure the perfect falafel, be sure to use cooked chickpeas, fresh vegetables and just the right amount of flour in your mix.
Making vegetarian falafels can seem intimidating at first, but with these tips, you’ll be able to make delicious falafels in no time!
6 Delicious Ways to Serve Falafel with Fresh Veggies
Falafels are a delicious vegetarian option that can be enjoyed in many different ways. Whether you’re looking to make an easy dinner or just need something light and filling, falafel is sure to please.
- Falafel & Greek Yogurt: This tasty combination is a great way to enjoy falafel with a healthy side of Greek yogurt and fresh vegetables. Start by pan-frying your falafel until golden brown. Serve the finished product on a bed of Greek yogurt, topped with chopped tomatoes, cucumber slices, thinly sliced red onions, and a sprinkle of feta cheese.
- Falafel & Hummus Wrap: Start with either store-bought or homemade hummus spread onto the inside of two large tortillas. Place your freshly cooked falafel in the center of each wrap, then top with diced cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce. Roll up the wraps and enjoy!
- Falafel & Salad Bowls: This is an easy way to make a light meal out of falafel. Simply fill a bowl with your favorite salad greens, then top it off with cooked falafels. Add some diced tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots for extra crunch, as well as some feta cheese for a bit of tang.
- Falafel Bowls with Roasted Vegetables: For a heartier meal, top off cooked falafels with roasted vegetables. Preheat the oven to 400°F and place diced veggies (such as bell peppers, zucchini, squash and onions) onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and seasonings of your choice, then roast for about 20 minutes. Place the roasted veggies on top of cooked falafels and serve!
- Falafel & Quinoa Bowls: For a complete meal, add some quinoa to your falafel bowl. Start by cooking 1/2 cup of quinoa according to the instructions on the package, then mix it together with cooked falafel, diced tomatoes, cucumbers and red onions. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice for extra flavor.
- Falafel & Pita Bread: This classic combination will never get old! Toast up your favorite pita bread until golden brown, then stuff it with cooked falafel and chopped veggies. Add a dollop of plain yogurt or your favorite sauce for some added flavor!