Tri-Color Vegan Gluten-free Falafel
When I started learning Middle Eastern cuisine the first thing in my mind was Falafel. Falafel is basically a fritter made up of legumes paste. Garbanzo beans or fava beans are the key ingredient of this dish. It was originated in Egypt. It used to be a street food in Middle East countries like Arab. This was a vegetarian substitute to meat balls. Traditionally they are deep fried but if you are on low carb diet you can bake the falafel in microwave as well. These are served with Pita breads and tahini sauce.
Dried Or Canned Beans to use?
In middle eastern countries garbanzo beans are used predominantly to make falafel. While preparing this dish don’t use canned garbanzo beans as they are already cooked and needs binding agent to form balls out of the mixture. Always use raw ones. Soak the raw garbanzo beans for 10 – 12 hours minimum or over night. Then strain out the beans and blend it to a paste. Then keep aside the paste for 1 – 2 hrs in refrigerator to set. the drier the paste, the easier it will be to make balls and fry. Else the balls will split in hot oil and you will not like that all your work went in vein.
Remember, the garbanzo beans require water and heat for proper cooking. So probably we soak and pressure-cook to get softer beans. But for this recipe its necessary that you shall not boil the beans before blending. Only one step is sufficient that is soak properly in water. The rest cooking will be done once the paste comes in contact of hot oil. If you cook them first then it will be difficult to bind them without adding any flour. Here I have not added any flour or baking powder for this recipe. Yet these turned out really softer inside with a crunchy outside.
Again its all about playing around with the ingredients to add variations and creating recipes. The traditional ones have onion, garlic as secondary ingredients. You may get many other variation to this traditional falafel. In this recipe I have made plain falafel, carrots falafel and spinach falafel. This is such a fun to add color and variety to one plate. Again if we will talk about nutrition, this has all protein pack because of protein rich legumes and other fibre, vitamin and mineral from the vegetable you will use. So this is a complete nutritious dish for all.
Know Garbanzo Beans as a Super-food:
- Rich in protein & fiber – helps in weight-loss
- High Manganese – acts as antioxidant – acts as natural sunblock
- Rich source of zinc & copper – maintains strong immunity system
- Protein source – helps in building muscle
- Copper & Iron acts as energy booster
There are many more significant health benefit of garbanzo beans. Also you will add high nutrient packed veggies into it. Heavenly combination of health & taste. This recipe doesnot contain any baking soda, any binding agent, any flour. Hence its vegan and gluten free.
Lets make this nutritious falafel. As the name says it all i have made it in 3 different colors which came from all natural ingredients i.e. vegetables. 1. Regular Traditional Falafel 2. Spinach Falafel 3. Carrots falafel.
In my next recipe I will share another tri color falafel but with sesame. 1. Sesame Falafel, 2. Spinach & garlic falafel, 3. Red Falafel (beetroot).
My next falafel recipe would be a mixture of legumes & lentils. Few ideas in my mind. Lets see how well these combination goes well each other.
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Tri-Color Falafel with Cilantro Dip
- 1 cup Refined Oil
- 250 gms Garbanzo Beans or Chickpeas
- 1/2 Onion finely chopped
- 4 Garlic pods finely minced
- 10 Spinach leaves Finely minced (not pureed)
- 1 Carrot finely grated
- 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
- 2 Gren Chillies finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Coriander leaves finely minced
- Soak the chickpeas for 8 hours or over night. In morning drain out the water and keep aside for some times. Blend it to coarse paste in a food processor.
- Cover the thick paste and keep aside in refrigerator for 1 hour to set dry.
- Remove from freeze and mix chopped onion, garlic, green chillies, coriander, red chilli powder or paprika, black pepper powder. Mix well.
- Heat oil in a pan. Make small balls and press it to form patties shape. Drop one by one into oil. don't over crowd the pan else the patties may fall apart while flipping sides.
- flip to other side with help of a tong. Fry on medium high flame till its golden brown in color. Remove from heat and place on paper napkin.
- to make carrot falafel, along with onion and garlic add finely grated carrots. Squeeze out to drain any excess juice. Rest all process would be same.
- to make spinach falafel, similarly finely chop spinach leaves and add to the paste. you can clean wash and dry the leaves before chopping them.
- Serve hot with any dip
- If you are blending the beans and vegetables together then immediately you can cook them else they will release their natural juices and you need to add flour to the recipe.
- So if taking juicy vegetables like beetroot you have to squeeze the juice from grated beetroot.