Throw Your Best Party with Falafel Poppers

Throwing a cocktail or dinner party and looking for that simple recipe to wow your guests?  Throw your best party ever with these Falafel Poppers. They take only a short time to prepare ahead of time and can be cooked at the last minute.  Don't let the amount of ingredients intimidate you.  The short prep and cook time make the shopping time worth the wow!

ceramic plate with falafel poppers piled on it

What is Falafel?

Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern food made from chickpeas, herbs, and spices. It is usually formed into patties and fried until crispy. It's common for falafel to be placed inside pita bread with other ingredients, much like a sandwich: lettuce, tomato, pickles, sauces, etc...

What I LOVE about falafel is the earthiness of the chickpeas mixed with those spices like cumin and coriander and then packed with fresh herbs. The combination is perfect for almost anything you want to put with it.

Why These Falafel Poppers are Better

Even though I love the flavor and texture of falafel, it is sometimes too heavy for me.  What I love about this recipe, and why these falafel poppers are better, is the combination of spicy, crispy, sweet and salty, but without the starchy heaviness found with traditional falafel. Warm and gooey on the inside, crispy and spicy on the outside. What is not to love??

How To Make Falafel Poppers

I start this recipe by making a traditional falafel mix, featuring lots of fresh herbs, spices, a little baking soda, and chickpeas.

Afterward, mix in flour and sparkling water to form a loose batter.  It will still have some wonderful texture from the chickpeas and herbs.

There are so many fantastic cashew-based cheeses available in the grocery stores these days.  Pick your favorite brand, as long as it is soft and able to roll.  Roll into small golfball sized balls and dredge in flour.

If you are not cooking and serving right away, you can stop just before placing the cheese into the flour. Refrigerate your cheese balls until ready to use and then start by dredging them in the flour just before cooking.

When your oil is ready, it is time to fry your poppers. Tap off the excess flour from the cheese and, using a fork, roll in the batter until completely covered. Drop gently in the oil and let fry until golden brown (about 30-45 seconds). Flip over and do the other side until the entire popper is crispy golden brown all around.

How Do You Know Your Oil Is Ready?

30 minutes before serving, I heat the oil on the stove. Remember, oil expands as it heats so remember to leave at least a 1" gap from the top of your skillet to allow for oil expansion. You will want your flame on medium. The oil should be hot, but not smoking (350f on a thermometer). A good way to test without a thermometer is to carefully flick 1 SMALL droplet of water into the oil. If it crackles right away, the oil is ready. If it loudly pops, turn down your oil slightly. (Be careful and stand back while doing this. Do not do more than one drop or it will splatter. I stand by this as the best way to test oil without a thermometer).

The Perfect Sauce For Your Poppers

After you've removed your poppers from the oil, drain on paper towels and serve while still warm (You can hold in a warm oven at 175f for up to 30 minutes, but they are best fresh out of the fry oil). Of course, every time I serve poppers, I pair them with this perfect sauce of Kalamata Olive 'Honey'.

Recipe

Falafel Poppers

Kajsa@ Twist of Vegan
A warm gooey cashew cheese inside, crispy spicy falafel batter outside.  The perfect party wow dish!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Recipes- Appetizers
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 30 poppers
Calories 259 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the falafel batter per the recipe. (I've included a video below that shows the whole process of making the batter included)
  • Roll out the cheese into small teaspoon size golf balls. Dredge in the 2 cups of flour.  At this point, you can wait until you are ready to cook.  Give yourself about 30 minutes before serving time.
  • When ready to cook, place the oil in a thick bottomed pot or cast iron skillet on the stove over medium heat (remember that oil expands when it heats up, make sure there is plenty of space between the top of the oil and the top of your pot).  It will reach 350 degrees in about 5 minutes and should crackle when you drop a tiny drop of water in it.  The oil should not smoke.
  • Tap the excess flour off of your cheese and place a few at a time in the batter. Stir gently with a spoon or fork, and then carefully lift out and place in the hot oil.  The cheese will start to brown immediately.  Let cook for approximately 30 seconds before rolling onto the other side.
  • The poppers are ready to remove when they are golden brown all the way around and are soft when gently pushed.   Remove and drain on paper towels and then repeat until all of the poppers are done.  (you can store in a warm 175f oven if you want to get ahead).
  • Serve warm with a side of the Kalamata 'Honey'

Nutrition

Serving: 2poppersCalories: 259kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 1gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 13gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.1gSodium: 114mgPotassium: 9mgFiber: 1gSugar: 0.02gVitamin A: 0.2IUCalcium: 9mgIron: 1mg
Keyword appetizers, falafel, party foods, poppers, vegan appetizers
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