Project Weeknight: Chickpea Fritters

Release the pigeons! I finally made something resembling falafel!

After my last falafel disaster I was discouraged and had pretty much given up on my falafel quest. But it haunted me. Was I truly destined to fail Falafel 101 forever?

Then last month I found this recipe for Chickpea Fritters on the Innocent Primate Vegan blog. It seemed simple enough that even I could do it. I even read the directions all the way through multiple times (I admit, that's rare) to be sure that it had Project Weeknight potential and that I wouldn't find myself facing the dreaded "Bury the batter in the back yard for 2 weeks before proceeding". I hate it when that happens.

I decided that last night was the night. And sure enough, I had crunchy golden chickpea goodness on the table just after 6:30. Quick, easy, and delicious; just as advertised.

As always, I have a few notes for next time. Oh yes, there will certainly be a next time. The recipe came from a vegan blog so they used ground flax + water in lieu of an egg. I've been curious about that, so I tried it. It was fun to see the flaxseed swell up and get mucilaginous (now there's an underutilized word) but next time I might just use an egg. Because I can.

The batter came together pretty quickly. I used the amount of flour written, and the patties were a little softer than I'd hoped, like soft potato pancakes. That made them a little tough to flip without squishing. Next time I may add a little more flour, and/or let the batter sit for a few minutes for the flour to hydrate. That should firm things up. I also may have flattened them out a little too much.

I'm not quite sure I got the point of the sesame seeds so I might leave those out. I left out the heat in deference to my son, but next time I'll add the pinch of cayenne. I may also cut back on the lemon juice a tad since I think the tartness threw him off. Even though I loved the crunchy fried crust, I felt a little guilty about frying them in oil. I might try baking them as recommended in one of the comments.

I decided wanted just a little tahini sauce with my fritters, but all the recipes I have ever tried make more than I could ever eat and I end up throwing it out. So I winged it and ended up with something passable.
Completely Inauthentic But Passable Tahini Sauce
Apologies to all the real tahini sauce recipes in the world

Couple Tblsp tahini
Tblsp or so lemon juice
Tblsp or so of olive oil
Couple pinches dried parsley
Tsp or 2 of garlic powder
Pinch salt (to taste)
Water as needed

Combine ingredients except for water. Stir until incorporated. Add water, a little at a time, until the paste loosens to the desired consistency.
So what did my son think? He ate them but was a little uncertain. I'm confident that with those few tweaks he'll gladly jump on board the chickpea fritter train next time.


Anonymous said...

You know, I think I converted it from an original recipe using eggs..so eggs should work nicely (for the non-vegan crowd). Now reading your comment on my blog and your post, I realize what you mean by needing more flour. Mine were soft, but had no difficulty or issues with flipping them - so yeah, more flour would be good (and I'd be interested to know how much more you add for future reference).

You know, I'm not a huge fan of fried foods myself, so I think I didn't use the full tablespoon of oil to "fry" them. Since I was using a non-stick pan, I didn't need much. I just wanted enough to make them crispy and browned. But I'd also be interested to know how baking them turns out for you! I love hearing how the recipes turn out for other people! Thanks!

Meg said...

I will be trying this! Sounds interesting!