The other day, my best friend was visiting. I have known her since high school, and we have somehow managed to uphold our friendship over the years, even though we have lived in different cities (at times we were more than 600km apart) for 5 years now. It’s great having a friend whom you can call no matter how long it’s been since the last time you talked, and have it feel like you saw each other yesterday. I wish everyone a friend like that!
So, she was over for dinner, and I made a beautiful salad with falafel. Sadly, they were not homemade, and I almost felt bad serving them. They did taste quite good, but I always prefer making something from scratch, at least then I know exactly what I have put in my food! After that night, I vowed to make falafel from scratch some time. Today was “some time” – and see how they turned out:
Fabulous Vegan Falafel From Scratch With Mint-Raita
for the falafel:
- 200g chickpeas, precooked
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 flax egg (or real egg)
- 1 Tbs. brown millet flour (I’m sure any other type of flour, for example spelt or chickpea flour will work also)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. chopped parsley
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. coriander
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. tahini (sesame paste)
- 1 Tbs. oil (I used rapeseed oil that had been infused with dried tomatoes)
for the mint-raita:
- 4 Tbs. soy yogurt
- 1 Tbs. dried & ground mint leaves (fresh mint will work as well, in that case you will need about 1 Tbs. of chopped mint leaves)
- 1 Tbs. freshly pressed lemon juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
1. For the raita, mix together all the ingredients and refrigerate until serving. It makes sense to prepare this before you prepare the falafel, as the mint needs some time to infuse the yogurt.
2. Mince the chickpeas in a blender or mixer for about 30 seconds. Add the garlic clove and parsley, as well as the seasoning and the tahini, and mince until all the ingredients are well-mixed.
3. Add the flax egg to the chickpea mixture by stirring with a spoon. The flax egg will make the mixture smooth.
4. Preheat oven to 200°C. Using your hands, form balls and set them in a casserole dish lined with baking parchment. Brush the oil onto the balls.
5. Bake the falafel for 20-25 minutes, until they turn brown and have a crunchy outer coat.
6. Serve with a side salad and the mint raita.
Above, you can see the falafel before baking, and below after:
Make yourself a side salad and dip away, my friends!
Not bad, huh? The outside is nice and crunchy, and the insides are mushy and juicy. Perfection at it’s greatest!
Usually, falafel are made in a deep fryer. I dislike fried dishes, as I don’t own a deep fryer and I find that falafel always end up so fatty when fried, so I chose to prepare them in the oven. If you own a deep fryer, you can also fry them!