Mmm vegan fried food. There’s a reason why the falafel, a traditionally vegan food, is loved by vegans and non-vegans alike, and I think it is in large part because they are fried in oil! Sure they can be made in healthier ways, but really nothing beats that crunchy outside and warm, soft inside.
There’s a spot in the city that Justin and I pass whenever we are driving upstate. They make great falafels, but what I love just as much as the actual falafels are the sauces and crunchy vegetables that come wrapped up in that pillowy, warm pita. When I made these for my sister, mother, and Justin last week, they were super delicious, but I thought they needed more saucy condiments. They were plopped onto a dollop of hummus, but what we all concluded was that a nice tzatziki sauce would really take the dish up a notch. I don’t have any photos of the tzatziki sauce up close because it was really good and Justin ate it all! But the cool, refreshing sauce pared perfectly with the warm, salty, and crunchy falafels.
Like stated earlier, I’ve never made these before, and other than chickpeas, I really didn’t know what went into them. So after reading a lot of different recipes, I tried out this one and it was so good I needed to share it. If you have another recipe or not-so-secret ingredient that you would like to share, please fill me in! As for the tzatziki sauce, which is generally made with yogurt, I created a healthier, more scrumptious recipe using cashews as a substitute.
Falafel Ingredients (from toriavey.com makes about 25-30):
- 1 pound (about 2 cups) dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans – you must start with dry, do NOT substitute canned, they will not work!
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 3-5 cloves garlic (I prefer roasted)
- 1 1/2 tbsp flour
- 1 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Pinch of ground cardamom
- Vegetable oil for frying (grapeseed, canola, and peanut oil work well)
For the steps, please visit toriavey.com
Tzatziki Sauce Ingredients:
- 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cubed
- 2 Tbsp fresh dill
- 3 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk
- 1 Tbsp lime or lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium sized garlic cloves
- 1/4 tsp white wine vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Soak the cashews in water for at least 3-4 hours. Make sure there is at least 2 inches of water above the cashews.
- Place all ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender. You will need to press the mixture down and continue blending for optimal consistency.
- And that’s it – use this as a topping, to dip, or to spread!