This easy vegan falafel recipe is the most delicious falafel you’ll ever have. Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and spiced with the wonderful flavours of cumin and coriander. These falafel are great on top of a big bowl of veggies or stuffed into a pita sandwich with a big dollop of vegan tzatziki on top.
I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t love falafel and it’s pretty much the standard restaurant vegetarian option for uncreative chefs. I like to call falafel, hummus and baba ganoush “vegan 101” since they’re so simple to make and ubiquitous on the menus of practically every vegetarian restaurant in the city I live in.
Despite that, none of those restaurants make it better than this homemade vegan falafel recipe. It’s seriously the best falafel I’ve ever had, no joke. This trick is to plan ahead and use dried chickpeas soaked overnight. That’s what’s gonna give you the super crispy texture that’s light and not pasty on the inside.
I’m sure that one or many of you are going to ask me if you can substitute cooked/canned chickpeas for this recipe. The answer is no so don’t bother asking. Dried chickpeas are essential to the texture of this vegan falafel recipe. Yes, you can make falafel with canned chickpeas but please go find yourself another recipe for that!
When I was young, I used to make falafel with one of those packaged box mixes. It would seem like it’s more convenient but in actual fact the falafel “batter” is so easy to make that’s there’s really no excuse for not making it from scratch.
Simply toss chickpeas, herbs and seasonings into a food processor and blitz it up. You can get as creative as you like with the seasonings here (and I have seen some pretty creative falafel recipes!). Then you just need to roll it into balls and fry till golden and crispy. If they’re not sticking together well you can refrigerate the mix for an hour and that should do the trick!
In the meantime you can whip up a simple vegan tzatziki sauce. This is just a combination of soy or coconut yogurt, grated and drained cucumber, garlic, lemon, dill and salt. This vegan tzatziki is great with your falafel in a pita or with just the pita itself and some veggies for dipping!
Once you try this vegan falafel recipe you’ll never want to use the box mixes again!
Wanna see how easy it is to make this vegan falafel recipe with tzatziki? Watch the video and share it on Facebook:
For the falafel
- 1 cup (200 grams) dry chickpeas
- Half a small onion, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon chickpea flour
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Oil, for frying
- Optional for serving: pitas, sliced cucumber, tomato, lettuce, red onion
For the vegan tzatziki
- Half a cucumber
- 200 ml (7 oz) soy or coconut yogurt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 clove of garlic, grated
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Cover the chickpeas with water and leave to soak overnight. Drain (I like to pat them dry a bit too) and add to a food processor along with the remaining ingredients minus the oil. Pulse until you reach a mealy texture that holds together when you squeeze it. Refrigerate for one hour.
- At this point you can prepare the vegan tzatziki. Grate the cucumber into a strainer and add a pinch of salt. Leave to drain for 30 minutes, giving it a stir from time to time. You can also strain your yogurt if it’s particularly runny and you want a creamier consistency (optional). Combine the yogurt and drained cucumber with the remaining ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Heat enough oil in a pan over medium heat to cover the falafel at least halfway. Form the mixture into balls by squeezing it with your hands. If they’re not sticking together well you can add another tablespoon of flour (I find that patting the chickpeas dry first prevents the need to add more flour later).
- Fry the falafel in batches, flipping once, until they’re golden brown on both sides. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
- If you’re making a falafel pita, carefully slice open your pitas and stuff with lettuce, sliced cucumber, sliced tomato and red onion. Dollop over the vegan tzatziki and serve.
**Prep time does not include soaking the chickpeas overnight.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 4 - 5 falafel
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 364Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gSodium: 940mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 10gSugar: 19gProtein: 16g
Recipe adapted from Tori Avey
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