I’ve made homemade falafel a few times now (most recently in May, when I shared my homemade falafel quinoa bowls), so I do apologise if you’re sick of seeing it. But when inspiration strikes, I tend to just run with it. This time I made cauliflower falafel, since we all know how much I love putting cauliflower into recipes where it absolutely does not belong (see here, here, here). Somehow though, it always ends up being a big success, so I thought I’d give cauliflower falafel a try too.
And whaddya know, it worked! Really well, in fact. These cauliflower falafel are crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, and at only around 65 calories a pop, they’re pretty light too. The texture is a little different to normal falafel – they’re a little grainier, thanks to the cauliflower – but once you’ve got these babies wrapped up in a flatbread, you won’t even notice the difference. You could probably pre-cook the cauliflower to get rid of the slight graininess if you wanted to, but who can be bothered with that?
Pluuus, did you know that cauliflower is crazily high in Vitamin C? I would never have guessed, but just one of these cauliflower falafel contains more than 20% of your RDA of Vitamin C! I’m utterly dumbfounded. High five for cauliflower!
The cauliflower falafel mixture is easy to make – raw cauliflower, chickpeas, some herbs and spices, and a spoonful of gram flour (chickpea flour) to help hold it all together. Gram flour is pretty easy to find in the international section of the supermarket, but if you can’t find it, you could probably get away with using normal plain flour instead.
I tried both baking and frying my cauliflower falafel. Both methods worked well, though I’ll probably stick with baking them next time, purely because it’s less labour intensive. If you do decide to fry them, just be careful when you turn them over, as they’re a little fragile.
Since falafel can be quite dry on their own, you’ll want to stuff your wraps with plenty of extras to keep everything feeling fresh. I used a simple garlic herb mayo, some fresh veggies, and Baxters spicy slaw, which is one of the products in the new Deli Toppers range. Remember I told you about this range before? Last time I used the red slaw, and this time I used the spicy slaw to liven up my falafel wraps. The slaw is tangy, spicy, and ever so slightly sweet – it adds a wonderful flavour to these wraps. It’s also nice and crunchy, which is very welcome alongside the soft falafel.
I’ve also discovered that both of these slaws go amazingly well on quesadillas, sandwiches, salads, and just about anything else that needs a little something extra. So good, and such an easy way to add flavour. If you’d like more ideas for how to use the new products, check out the Deli Toppers website and #GetTopping!
- 300g (~ 10.5 oz) cauliflower florets (~ 1 medium head, florets only)
- 400g tin chickpeas, drained (240g, or ~ 1¼ cups, when drained)
- Small handful fresh parsley or coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- Black pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp gram flour (chickpea flour)
- ~ 4 tbsp oil for cooking
- 1 small clove garlic
- Small handful fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- Black pepper
- 4 flatbreads or tortilla wraps
- Tomato wedges
- Cucumber sticks
- Spicy slaw
- Add the raw cauliflower florets to a food processor, and blitz until finely chopped. Add the tin of chickpeas and a small handful of parsley, and blitz thoroughly until well combined. Add the spices and a good pinch of salt and pepper, along with a dash of olive oil and a tablespoon of gram flour. Continue to process until everything is thoroughly combined. The mixture will be slightly crumbly, but should hold together when you squeeze it in your hand.
- Using clean hands, form the mixture into balls, squeezing firmly to hold it together - I made 12 falafel in total.
- The cauliflower falafel can be fried or baked. To fry, heat ½ cm of oil in the bottom of a frying pan, and add the falafel (you may need to cook them in two batches to avoid overcrowding the pan). Fry over a fairly high heat for a few minutes on each side, until browned and crispy all over. Alternatively, to bake the falafel, place them on a greased baking tray, and drizzle lightly with oil. Bake at 200°C (Gas Mark 6 / 400°F) for around 35-40 minutes, until golden brown.
- While the cauliflower falafel are cooking, prepare the garlic herb yogurt. Place a small clove of garlic in a mini food processor, along with some fresh parsley, and blitz until finely chopped. Add the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and plenty of salt and pepper, and blitz again to combine.
- When the cauliflower falafel are cooked, serve them in flatbread or tortillas with the garlic yogurt, fresh tomato and cucumber, and the spicy slaw.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose.