Falafel is a Middle Eastern treat that reminds me in some ways of hush puppies except falafel is much healthier – and very fast to make especially if you start with garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour instead of whole dried beans. Falafels are crispy, crunchy brown on the outside and fluffy, spicy on the inside. They can be served wrapped in some kind of flat bread or alone as a snack food.
    There are many in the gluten free community who do not care for bean flours in any shape or form. In my personal experience it seems that if the recipe is vegan, especially without egg, then there are very little digestive problems when ingesting a modest amount.
    Garbanzo bean flour is one of the less expensive of the gluten-free flours and extremely versatile. It works in sweet baked goods, in main dishes, in snacks and as I discovered, a messed up recipe can be salvaged respectably.
    The first time this batter went together without any problems except I had no parsley and used sage instead. That was really tasty so I kept it. And impatient as ever I made four large patties instead of 12 small ones. That worked out since it was lunch time and I had dreams of a sandwich sort of thing. It worked out so well I had two of them for lunch. One of them just contained romaine and tomato as sort of a test run. The spices were so good! There was a can of itty bitty sardines in the pantry so the last one was romaine, tomato, and sardines dripping olive oil and seriously one of those surprises when all of the flavors join together in just the right way and you can’t believe it. The remaining two falafels were lunch the next day.
    And then . . . . dreaming of a repeat sandwich performance I mixed the dry ingredients and set it aside as interruptions occurred. A day later, determined to finish, I heated a cup of water with some lemon juice and dumped it in the dry ingredients. Ooops, too much water!
     Hmmm, socca is a pancake made in various regions of France that has simpler ingredients – olive oil (quite a bit) in the batter and only salt and pepper for seasoning. What else could be done? The skillet and olive oil were waiting so a little test pancake was poured. The result was not quite as sturdy as the original falafel but just a tasty – very definitely a crepe-pancake sort of object. So the inside out falafel omelet came into being. The pancake folded over a messy fried up egg (yes, I ignore my own advice quite often) sprinkled with a tiny bit of Parmesan cheese and there was lunch again – and I did not explode! Extra olive oil in the batter was not used or needed.
    The rest of the batter went into the fridge and has been used up over the course of several days. It has thickened as the flour absorbed the liquid but it still cooks up fluffy from the action of the soda and lemon juice. This is not a bad backup strategy for those weeks that have too-many-things-to-do.


1 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon cumin, ground
1/4 teaspoon coriander, ground
1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
1/4 teaspoon onion powder

2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup hot water

2 tablespoons olive oil (for frying)

    Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and blend thoroughly. Add the lemon juice and hot water to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes.

    Heat the olive oil on medium-high heat in a frying pan. Add the falafel batter by the tablespoon for about a dozen small falafels and more batter for about four larger ones. Fry on all sides until golden brown. Depending on the size of your frying pan, the batter may need to be cooked in batches. They brown very nicely and quicker than you might think so keep and eye on them.



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