Falafel doesn’t need to be deep-fried, it can be cooked on a barbecue in a method called ‘fried-not-fried’ which uses circulating hot air. These falafel are a healthy and tasty option for your next barbecue. They are also an option when considering dishes for vegetarian and vegan guests, or if you are looking for something a little different.
Falafel is a very versatile and hearty meal option. You can eat it as-is, with salad, rice, or bread. You can also make it into a sandwich and stuff it inside pita bread. We like to serve it with sliced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and plain yogurt to add a little fat and moisture.
By setting up the barbecue with the heat in the center, or using a kettle cone or vortex if you have one, it creates a hot airflow mimicking the same cooking environment found in an air fryer. Setting up your grill like this can allow you to cook many recipes typically deep-fried. This is often a healthier and safer option than deep frying outdoors.
Fried-Not-Fried BBQ Falafel Recipe
- 1 can chickpeas drained
- 1 small yellow onion finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- salt to taste
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose or plain flour
- oil as needed
- closed grill
- kettle cone vortex or similar, optional
- In a large bowl add the drained chickpeas and mash with a fork or potato masher.
- Add the onions, garlic, parsley, cumin, coriander, salt, and flour. Mash all the ingredients together to create a thick paste.
- Form the mixture into small balls, a little smaller than a ping-pong ball.
- Brush or spray all the falafels with oil.
- Set up the BBQ for a fried-not-fried style cook. This method of cooking works particularly well in a kettle-style or round BBQ. Place the hot coals in the center only. You can use a vortex or kettle cone to help produce drier air circulation while minimizing the direct heat cooking. If you have a rectangular grill, place the coals to one side creating a hot zone and cool zone. If using gas, only light one side of the grill.
- Place the falafel around the edge of the barbecue if using a round set-up or in the cool zone if using a rectangular grill. Cook for 30 minutes, rotating the falafel every 10 minutes. Serve hot.
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