Falafel Bowl Recipe
Falafels in all their forms transport me back to my family and being taught by my dad how to cook. He owned a Lebanese restaurant for a number of years, and falafels featured heavily in the banquet meals. Funny thing though is that he didn’t make Lebanese style falafels, but rather made the falafels known in Egypt, otherwise known as T’aamiya. These are known to be greener, fluffier, crisper and lighter with an abundance of fresh herbs in the recipe. In Egypt, falafel are abundant street food, commonly made into pita bread sandwiches with salad, pickles and tahini sauce. I recall jars of pickles turnips colored with beetroot in our pantry for such occasions that we had falafel at home.
This particular Falafel Bowl Recipe teams up all the wonderful flavours of the Middle East with inclusions such as spiced beans, fresh salad, marinated olives, crunchy pickles,baba ganouj dip and oh, of course, tabouli salad. We have a great recipe for gluten-free, grain-free keto flatbreads to add to the meal.
Chickpeas or fava beans?
In most part of the Middle East falafel are made with chickpeas, however, in Egypt they are made using fava beans. You want the dried and split large fava beans that you will find at any Middle Eastern grocer. They will require soaking for the recipe. To make a really good falafel, the soaking process is integral to create the right texture. It also reduces the side effects of eating a lot of legumes (if you understand my drift). Plenty of soaking while changing the soaking water regularly is the key. And they don’t get cooked before being made into the falafels. The cooking occurs all in the deep fryer once the whole mix is made up.
And while you can definitely cook falafel ahead and reheat them, nothing beats the magic of a freshly cooked falafel, as the outside is super crispy and absolutely delicious. If you do need to reheat them, best to do it in a dry oven rather than the microwave.
Enjoy this recipe, and please be sure to share your pictures and comments with us. You can do that either on our Instagram or YouTube page @janinesglutenfreekitchen.
Falafel Bowl Recipe | Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, High Protein, Plant-Based Recipe. Make your own falafel from scratch and then team it with Middle Eastern flavours for a superb bowl for dinner or lunch.
450g Dried large split Fava Beans
5 Spring Onions
1 bunch Parsley, (big bunch)
1 bunch Coriander, (big bunch)
6 large cloves Garlic
2 tsp Bicarb of soda
2 tsp Salt
2 Tbs Ground Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Ground Coriander Seeds
1 Tbs Golden Flaxmeal
1/4 tsp Chilli Powder, (optional)
Vegetable Oil for frying
Soak the dried fava beans overnight (or at least for 8 hours) in a large bowl filled with water. We recommend you change the water 2 or 3 times during the soaking process to eliminate all the ‘gassing’ effects of beans. The next day, drain the beans and mix in food processor until smooth.
Transfer soaked beans to your food processor. Add the garlic and pulse until you obtain a gritty paste. Remove from food processor and add to a large mixing bowl.
In the processor, add the parsley, coriander, leek and spring and blend until you have a fine paste. Then add all the remaining ingredients except the oil and blend until all the spices are well incorporated.
Tip the green paste into the bean paste and mix well with your hands or with a strong wooden spoon. If your mix appears runny or watery, add more flax meal a teaspoon at a time until firm enough to form balls. You should wait 5 minutes between each addition to give the flax time to absorb the moisture.
Heat a large pan with vegetable oil and bring to about 180 celsius.
If you have a handheld falafel maker, use to form your falafels. If not, make small balls about the size of golf balls and gently flatten a little for flat edges. Gently place in the hot oil but don’t overfill the pan, you need some breathing space between falafels. Fry until a very deep golden brown making sure to flip the falafel as they cook so that both sides color and cook. This should take between 5 and 10 minutes. Drain on absorbent paper towels.
Best eaten immediately.
To make the falafel bowl, combine a large spoonful of your favourite accompaniments to the bowl before adding 5 or 6 falafels. Some suggestions are:
- sauteed green beans with garlic and flaked almonds
- an assortment of pickles such as dill pickles and pickled turnips
- marinated green olives
- shredded lettuce
- cherry tomato halves
- baked pumpkin with turmeric and coriander
- baked sweet potato with zaatar
- tabouli (recipe link here)
- okra in tomato and onion
- diced cucumber
- fatoush salad (recipe link here)
- tahini sauce (recipe link here)
- hommus or baba ganouj dip
- chilli sauce
- keto flatbreads (recipe link here)