Gluten-Free Falafel

The gf falafel mixture before adding flour

I’m embarrassed that I don’t have that beautiful, focused in the foreground-blurry in the background photo of my completed falafel. We got so caught up in the making/eating, we forgot! I promise they looked just like what you would expect; crispy brown on the outside and greenish-flecked on the inside. 
It annoys me that 99% of the falafel found in the US has gluten; falafel are traditionally made with chick pea or garbanzo bean flour. It’s also traditionally vegan; no animal products, like eggs or milk, are needed. Yea! 
So here are the important tips:
-The onion and garlic add a lot of flavor. Use less garlic if you don’t like it spicy. 
-The mixture should not be wet (I made this mistake). Make sure to add enough garbanzo and/or gluten free flour to bind it together. 
-I used a combo of cilantro and parsley because that’s what I had (and we all love cilantro). Use what you have. 
-Although you can bake these at a high heat, frying (even if it’s just pan-fried) will give the best texture. 
-If you have more time, the traditional way to make falafel is to soak about 1/2 cup of dried garbanzo beans (so that you have the right amount for this recipe; you can always soak more) in water for 12 hours. Drain and rinse. Use this in place of the can of garbanzo beans. However, this requires at least a half of a day’s worth of planning which we don’t always have.
-I couldn’t find fresh tahini sauce so I served it with hummus. Use what you have. It will be delicious.

-If you can’t find or don’t want to make fresh gluten-free pita, serve in lettuce wraps or a gluten-free roll. I like the ones from Schar. My husband brought these gluten-free pita back from the UK; they are the best I have had so far (and notice they are almost all gone).
Gluten-Free Pita from Sainsbury’s, a UK based grocery store
Enjoy the recipe and don’t be afraid to try these. They are easy, quick and delicious. I showed my husband how to make them so I think we have a new rotation in our household!
Gluten-Free Falafel
Makes 13-14 2” patties
1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped into 4-6 pieces
1/4 onion (or 1/2 small), cut into chunks
1/4 cup fresh parsley, rinsed and dried off, big stems removed
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, rinsed and dried off, big stems removed (or use all parsley)
1/3 cup chick pea or garbanzo bean flour 
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4-1/2 cup gluten-free flour blend (without xanthan gum)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying
1. Place all ingredients except flour blend and vegetable oil in a food processor. Puree until slightly chunky but almost smooth, scraping down the sides at least once. If it’s too chunky, add a teaspoon of water and process again. Remove and place in a medium bowl. 
2. Add 1/4 cup flour blend and stir. You should be able to make patties that do not fall apart. If the mixture seems too dry, add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time. If the mixture seems too wet, add more flour. It should be moist but able to form into a patty.
3. Form into patties and fry in large pan with enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook until golden brown on each side. Serve with tahini sauce and/or hummus.

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