Update: My husband is NOT allergic to chickpeas. It turns out it is sesame, something that falafel is often drowned in, so it was difficult to determine. Eat all the chickpeas, but still try these wonderful falafel.
My husband is allergic to chickpeas. Chickpeas, people. Having done homemade falafel for the first time for our wedding, and having them turn out so delicious I could have cried (had I not been too busy sobbing over the damn cupcakes) I was even sadder than I normally am that he can’t have this wonderful street food. With more than fifty different food allergies, legumes and beans are complicated with it seemingly related to the skin of the bean. Well, we know that now, but these falafel were born out of the hope he might be able to eat edamame since tofu and soy milk are fine. Cilantro is also out in large quantities, but I wasn’t sure it would extend to coriander (the spice which is made from the seeds of the cilantro plant), so I figured this was worth a shot. In the end, he can’t eat edamame and is very allergic to sesame, so any of the sides are out and we’ve just let this one go for him. Also to be considered is the fact that I have tasted the best falafel in the world (Montreal’s Nilufar restaurant; hands-down) and I can’t even come close to it, so I prefer this twist when making it at home for myself.
These are baked, but they’d fry just fine, too. I’m just not a very good fry cook, to be honest. They are really wonderful: so fresh, just a hint of spiciness, the warmth of coriander and cumin and a great (not far off chickpea) texture. I love them warm out of the oven, in a sandwich or on top of a salad.
2 cups edamame, thawed in cool water
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cilantro, stems included
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced (seeds removed for a less spicy version)
1 medium onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
Handful of green onion tops
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (Gluten-Free version here)
Canola oil, for baking sheet
Preheat oven to 400 F (205 C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and drizzle with canola oil. Pulse all ingredients in a food processor, until relatively smooth. You can do this part by hand, just be sure that the other ingredients are cut small enough to be mixed in fairly evenly, and mash like you’ve never mashed before. The end result should stick together when pressed with your hands. Drop falafel mixture onto prepared baking sheet in one tablespoon measures. Flatten, for ease of cooking, with the back of a spatula. Bake on each side for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with your favourite falafel fixings, such as pita bread, hummus, roasted cauliflower, lentils and rice, or my Chickpea and Cumin Salad.