Falafels are a crowd-pleasing, favorite dish. Nutritious, filling, low in fat and delicious, they are usually eaten inside warm pita bread together with fresh salad, pickled vegetables, hummus and a creamy hot sauce. This Egyptian high protein delight was first invented as a meat alternative during Lent and nowadays they're enjoyed as a popular street food that is inexpensive and can be customized to suit different tastes.
For this recipe we combined the chickpeas with the Andean super grain quinoa, which makes them lighter and fluffy while adding plenty of nutrients. To get to the right falafel taste and scent we mixed in some fresh parsley and cilantro, as well as garlic, red pepper flakes and cumin. Try this out, with or without bread, make loads, freeze the rest and enjoy.
1. Gather the ingredients
- 1/2 cup of quinoa
- 1 can of chickpeas
- 1 small red onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup of fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro
- 1 tbsp of red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp of cumin
- 2 tsp of marine salt
2. Prep the quinoa
Cook the quinoa according to these instructions. If you are using canned chickpeas wash them and drain them, otherwise cook them.
3. Prep the vegetables
Chop the red onion and garlic. Chop the parsley and cilantro.
In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, quinoa, onion, garlic, parsley and cilantro. Add the spices and blend well, making sure you have properly mashed the chickpeas (this will bind everything together).
5. Get the right consistency
If you need to, you could add some chickpea flour to help with the binding. But don’t worry too much as you need to refrigerate the mix for at least 30 minutes (or overnight) and it will have the right consistency.
6. Cook them
Take the mix out of the fridge and make small bites with your hands. In a large pan, medium-heat some oil and add the falafels one by one, cooking them for a few minutes on both sides, until gold and crisp. If you prefer, bake them instead. Let them cool and enjoy inside warm pita bread or with tomato and cucumber salad with lots of lemon.