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How to Make Crispy Cauliflower Falafel

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Einav Hakoun – @einavhakounfood
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These cauliflower falafel bites are incredibly addictive!

EQUIPMENT

INGREDIENTS
 

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Soak the chickpeas in water in a bowl for 24 hours.
  • Rinse well and drain thoroughly. In a food processor, grind the chickpeas together with the onion and garlic. Transfer to a bowl and mix with the spices and liquids.
  • In the food processor, finely chop the cauliflower until it has a texture similar to the chickpeas, then mix them together.
  • Let sit in the refrigerator for an hour or even overnight.
  • Form balls by hand or with a falafel scoop, fry in deep hot oil over medium-high heat, and transfer to a rack or sieve. Serve with pita bread, salad, spicy sauce, pickles, and tahini.

MY NOTES

cauliflower falafel recipe
Credit: Einav Hakoun – @einavhakounfood

Can I use canned chickpeas instead of dried chickpeas?

Using canned chickpeas instead of dried chickpeas for falafel can be convenient, but it may affect the texture and flavor. Dried chickpeas, when soaked and ground, provide a coarse, grainy texture essential for traditional falafel. Canned chickpeas are softer and contain more moisture, which can make the falafel mixture too wet and lead to patties that fall apart during frying. If you must use canned chickpeas, drain and rinse them thoroughly, then pat them dry. Consider adding more flour or breadcrumbs to help bind the mixture. However, for the best results, it’s recommended to use dried chickpeas.

cauliflower falafel recipe
Credit: Einav Hakoun – @einavhakounfood

How do I ensure the falafel holds together while frying?

To ensure the cauliflower falafel holds together while frying, make sure the mixture is not too wet. Drain and dry the chickpeas thoroughly after soaking. Avoid over-processing; the mixture should be coarse. Add binding agents like flour or breadcrumbs, and let the mixture rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour to firm up. Form compact balls or patties, and fry in hot oil at the right temperature (around 350°F/175°C). Avoid overcrowding the pan to maintain consistent heat.

cauliflower falafel recipe
Credit: Einav Hakoun – @einavhakounfood

How long can the cauliflower falafel mixture be refrigerated?

You can store the falafel mixture in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Make sure to keep it in an airtight container to maintain freshness and prevent it from absorbing other odors. Before using the mixture, give it a quick stir to redistribute any settled ingredients. If you find the mixture has become too moist, you can add a bit more flour or breadcrumbs to help it bind. For longer storage, consider freezing the mixture.

cauliflower falafel recipe
Credit: Einav Hakoun – @einavhakounfood

How to prevent the falafel from being too dry or too mushy

To prevent the cauliflower falafel from becoming too dry or mushy, ensure the chickpea mixture is properly balanced. Avoid over-processing the ingredients; the mixture should be coarse for texture. Adjust moisture levels carefully by draining and drying chickpeas thoroughly after soaking. Add binding agents like flour or breadcrumbs in moderation to help hold the mixture together without making it too dry. Maintain oil temperature around 350°F (175°C) while frying to achieve a crispy exterior and a moist interior.

cauliflower falafel recipe
Credit: Einav Hakoun – @einavhakounfood

Can I bake the cauliflower falafel instead of frying it?

Yes, you can bake the cauliflower falafel instead of frying it for a healthier option. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush the falafel balls or patties with olive oil to help them brown and place them on the baking sheet. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until they are golden and crispy. Baked falafel won’t be as crispy as fried, but they will still be delicious and healthier.

cauliflower falafel recipe
Credit: Einav Hakoun – @einavhakounfood

Can I freeze the falafel mixture or the cooked falafel?

Yes, you can freeze both the falafel mixture and the cooked falafel. To freeze the mixture, shape it into balls or patties and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the sheet in the freezer until the falafel pieces are frozen solid, then transfer them to a freezer-safe container or bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Cooked falafel can also be frozen in a single layer on a baking sheet before transferring to a container. Reheat frozen falafel in a preheated oven until warmed through.

cauliflower falafel recipe
Credit: Einav Hakoun – @einavhakounfood

Can I make this cauliflower falafel gluten free?

Yes, you can make this recipe gluten free by using gluten free flour or breadcrumbs instead of regular flour. Ensure all ingredients, including spices and condiments like baking soda and sauces, are certified gluten-free. Check labels carefully, as some brands may contain gluten or be processed in facilities that handle gluten. The texture and flavor of the falafel will remain similar with gluten-free substitutes, providing a delicious alternative for those with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.

cauliflower falafel recipe
Credit: Einav Hakoun – @einavhakounfood

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