Saturday, May 14, 2011

Allergy-friendly Egyptian falafel

I am so excited about how these turned out. Honestly, I thought this was going to be one of those recipes that took several attempts to get right. But to my surprise, they were perfect on the first try!

Egyptian falafel use fava beans instead of the traditional chick peas found in Mediterranean falafel. I also omitted the cayenne pepper (nightshade), used corn-free baking powder, and gluten-free flour.

Egyptian Falafel (adapted from this recipe)
Makes approximately 12 falafel

  • 1 cup dried fava beans 
  • 1 cup onion, roughly chopped 
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced 
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, minced 
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic 
  • 1 tsp sea salt 
  • 1 tsp cumin 
  • 1 tsp homemade corn-free baking powder 
  • 4-6 Tbsp of your favorite gluten free flour mix (whichever you prefer, or use this one)
  • Light olive oil for frying (or any oil you tolerate)
Put the dried fava beans in a large bowl and add cold water to cover by a couple inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. (Note: Purchase already shelled dried fava beans, otherwise you will need to shell them after soaking)

Place the drained, uncooked fava beans and the onions in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to mix.

Add the parsley, cilantro, garlic, salt, and cumin. Pulse in food processor until blended but not pureed.
Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. Add enough flour so that the dough will form a small ball and will not stick to your hands. Note: I thought that the dough felt pretty wet, and I wasn't sure it would hold together, but it did.

Place mixture into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
When mixture has set, form the fava bean mixture into balls about the size of a golf ball.

Heat oil in deep fat fryer or sauce pan to 375°F.

Fry one ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little more flour to the dough mixture.

Then fry in small batches for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
Drain on paper towels. If your oil is the correct temperature, they will be crisp on the outside, soft on the inside and steaming hot. Not greasy at all, nothing really to "drain" on the paper towel. Yum!

Serve with lettuce wraps along with desired toppings, such as chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, lettuce, and lemon-tahini sauce. I wrapped mine with romaine and shredded carrots and used a raw vegan basil sauce for dipping.

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