I can’t tell you the first time I had falafel but I know that it was love at first taste. And the love affair has been ongoing ever since.
I like any kind too. There’s not a boxed falafel I haven’t enjoyed, and I will go out of my way to get it in stores. Literally. Almost any time I’m in Iowa City, I’ll make a stop at Oasis. Heck, one time I made my family go to Canada (from Montana) to get a falafel dog (and hot dogs, which I also love).
So, it’s not a surprise that when I found a homemade recipe for it years ago, I had to try it. And once again, I’ve been making it ever since.
My tastes have evolved over the years, so it’s probably just my current palate that makes me say this, but I think this time is the best I’ve made it.
It comes from a snarky vegan cookbook that I’ve only made a handful of recipes from and mostly ignored the annoying pleas for using coconut oil, and I’m sure I’ve made other things where I straight up just added real cheese. Not to snark on vegans but, man, cool it sometimes.
So, suffice to say, I’ve amended the original (though mine is still vegan. Until I top it with tzatziki.).
Since I don’t have a good food processor, I used my very wonderful Ninja blender. That made it a little hard to bring the mixture together so I added a little water, and this made the mix look a little like cookies when I finally baked them. But don’t let that fool you, they were still amazing and perfect, and I honestly recommend making them with a few splashes of water even if you have a food processor so they turn out this delightful.
While they’re not as simple as pouring from a box, they are baked instead of fried and still pretty frickin’ easy, and did I mention, amazing?!
Here’s what I did:
- 1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans/chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ½ onion, chopped
- 2 T. panko crumbs
- 2 T. whole wheat flour
- Chopped parsley, to taste (it calls for 2 T. but I like more)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 t. ground cumin, or to taste
- 1 t. ground coriander, or to taste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Olive oil, preferably spray
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spray or lightly coat with oil.
In a food processor or blender, combine the garbanzo beans, onion, panko, flour, parsley, garlic, spices, and a splash of water and blend. Pulse until smooth, adding tablespoons of water as necessary. Once mixed, flatten into about a dozen rounds and place on the lined sheet pan. Spray or brush lightly with more oil.
Bake for about 45 minutes, turning halfway through, and enjoy with tzatziki and pita!