Falafels (Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free)

*This also offers the regular wheat version of the original recipe.

I have loved Falafels for as long as I can remember. The combination of the crispy, savoury falafel, smothered in a wrap with tahini sauce is enough to send me to heaven and back, and then back again. I haven’t eaten a falafel since I started my wheat-free diet several years ago and truthfully they always seemed terribly exotic and mysterious so I never even thought to try.

Then I bought the Canadian Living Vegetarian Collection Cookbook and there they were completely demystified. I made them last week and they were delicious. And here forthwith gluten-free falafel lovers is  your very own recipe to make this wonderful dish at home. Don’t be frightened wheat eaters, you can easily use the original recipe which calls for flour and use wheat-flour wraps or pita pockets.

One little note before you start. This recipe calls for dried chickpeas which means you have to plan ahead and soak them for at least 4 hours if not longer. You also have to refrigerate this recipe for up to two hours so this definitely isn’t a last-minute kind of meal.

I used canned chickpeas and it still worked beautifully.

Here goes:

1 cup dried chickpeas (I used 1 can)
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsely
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup gluten-free flour or 1/2 cup wheat flour
4 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp lemon juice
11/2 tsp salt
Vegetable oil for frying.
Thinly sliced radishes and tomatoes and shredded lettuce.

24 mini pitas or regular wheat wraps for full serving pitas. I used Food For Life Brown Rice wraps from Wholefoods for mine.

If you’re using dried chickpeas, place in bowl and pour enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Soak for 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Drain and rinse well.

In food processor, coarsely chop chickpeas, onion, parsely and garlic for about 30 seconds. Add flour, cumin, baking powder, lemon juice and salt: pulse until blended. Shape by heaping 1 tbsp into 24 balls ; flatten to 1/2 inch thickness. Arrange in single layer on waxed paper-lined tray: refrigerate for two hours or up to 12 hours. *this part is pretty key otherwise they’re too mushy.

Pour enough oil into wok or Dutch over to come about 2 inches up the side of the pot; heat to 350 degrees using deep-fry thermometer…I don’t have one so I tested by placing a bit of the mixture in to see if it sizzled. Drop falafels in the oil in batches. Deep-fry, turning once, until golden and cooked through, 3 minutes. Drain on paper towel-lined tray. To reheat bake on greased baking sheet in 350 Degree oven (I microwaved mine) for 5 to 10 minutes.

Tahini Sauce
I made my sauce without yogurt. I simply added a little more lemon juice and a bit of water to make it less thick. Simply whisk all the ingredients together and voila!

Stuff wraps or pitas with falafels and sauce. I added shredded lettuce and tomato to ours.

The Vegetarian Collection Cookbook from Canadian Living is a great cookbook full of fabulous recipes. Check it out.

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8 Comments

Filed under Recipes

8 responses to “Falafels (Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free)

  1. Rakastan syödä keksejä

    Perfect comfort food for a -25 C day in Toronto, and yet, falafel is such a summertime treat as well….

    Thanks for this recipe and reference to The Vegetarian Collection Cookbook.

  2. Mmm, sounds yummy … thanks for this.

    … and I find dried chickpeas over-rated.

    • Thanks Paul. I don’t have a lot of experience cooking with dried beans….My Vij’s cookbook swears by it as does the Vegetarian Canadian Living Cookbook but the one time I did try it, it didn’t work out as I had planned! I’ve made these falafels twice now and just love them.

  3. I am so excited about finding this recipe via google – I’ve just made a batch because a lovely friend who is vegan, dairy & wheat free is coming to our 70s fondue dinner party tomorrow! I’ve done a tomato based sauce for dipping. Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. Rob

    Hi, thanks for this. What ingredients did you use in your yogurt-free tahini besides lemon and water?

    • Basically just that plus I add a bit of fresh garlic and salt because I like those flavours. Also you will have to play with the liquid to tahini ratio to achieve the consistency you like! Good luck and keep me posted!

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