Ahhh… falafels… delightfully delicious balls that originated from the Middle East and have gained popularity as a street food in North America over the recent years.
In light of Falafel Appreciation Day, I have created a vegan and gluten-free option candidly called, Falafeliciously Vegan. My recipe takes on a spicy and aromatic Malaysian flavour for a unique surprise onto your palate.
These falafels are rich in nutrients, high in fiber, and are a good source of protein. This recipe carries so many health benefits from ingredients like quinoa — a superfood that is rich in protein, high in antioxidant and improves energy production. Not to mention, the main ingredient chickpeas which improves digestion due to its high fiber content, and aids in weight-loss.
Falafeliciously Vegan is the perfect meal for vegetarians and vegans as we get to reap so many health benefits from a tasty little ball. Commonly deep-fried (which is a big no in our kitchen) we are making our falafels less greasy and more healthy by baking them to perfection.
Falafels are very versatile and allow you to be creative in how you serve and enjoy them. You can make a large batch to be served in a wrap, together with your salad, eaten on its own, and is great for meal-prep or for your next party.
Enjoy cooking and Happy Falafel Appreciation Day!
Recipe: FALAFELICOUSLY VEGAN (VGN, GF)
makes 6 patties / sticks
- 1 can chickpeas (drained)
- ½ cup quinoa (cooked)
- 2 handful coriander (roughly chopped)
- 3 tsp bunga kantan (finely chopped)
- 1 tsp lemongrass (finely chopped)
- ½ medium sized yellow onion (finely diced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- ½ tsp cumin seeds (toasted and ground)
- ½ tsp coriander seeds (toasted and ground)
- 1 tsp chilli flakes (ground)
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp lime zest
- 1 tsp lime juiceSalt and pepper (to taste)
- To serve: 6 sticks lemongrass (cleaned and cut to 8” length) *Optional
- Prepare the coriander, bunga kantan, lemongrass, yellow onion and garlic. Set aside.
- Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a shallow pan over a medium heat until fragrant. Let cool then finely grind the seeds together with the chilli flakes using a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
- Cook the quinoa with vegetable stock until fluffy. Set aside.
- Drain the chickpeas but keep the liquid for later use.
- Roughly pulse the chickpeas in a food processor then add aforementioned fresh ingredients, spices, olive oil, salt and pepper, lime zest and juice, and continue to pulse. The texture should be roughly minced but not pastey.
- Spoon the mixture into a bowl, drizzle and fold in a bit of the chickpea liquid. Cover with cling wrap and let sit in refrigerator for 1.5 hours to soak up the flavours.
- Preheat the oven at 180 degrees celsius and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Dampen your hands with water then spoon and shape the falafel mixture to wrap around half the length of a lemongrass stick (like a satay) or just simply into patty forms.
- Transfer Falafels onto baking tray lined with parchment paper, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and set aside before plating.
- There are endless delectable ways to serve falafels! Have it in a wrap, sandwiched in a pita bread, in your salad or even on its own.
- Seen here served on bed of cucumber ribbons, heirloom tomatoes, pineapple, curly lettuce, and drizzled with a lime vinaigrette.