Crispy Chickpea Waffles Recipe

Can you waffle it? has become a sort-of joke, but I still take it seriously. After all, this question has led to a lot of important discoveries, like waffled grilled cheese or waffled puff pastry. So what about falafel? Can you waffle that?

The short answer is: no and yes.

I started with a super-simple falafel batter: overnight-soaked chickpeas pulsed in a food processor with some onion and garlic, plus baking powder, salt, and ground cumin. A lot of falafel recipes go harder on the spices and add fresh herbs, too, but I wanted the chickpeas to shine.

This didn’t go well. Despite how very generously I greased the waffle iron, the falafel batter stuck like cement. And I need not tell you how frustrating it is to clean a waffle iron when you could be eating waffles instead.

Somewhere between the first and 14th Q-tip (Did you know Q-tips are really helpful at cleaning cooled-down, clogged-up waffle irons?), I started wondering about eggs. Could they be the missing ingredients? Could they clean my waffle iron for me?

Photo by Jenny Huang

Well, no, they couldn’t clean it for me. But yes, they made all the difference for the recipe. One egg made a nonstick waffle (huzzah!). Two eggs made a fluffier, lighter center. Three eggs made an almost-falafel, crispy chickpea waffle that I couldn’t stop eating.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a waffle without maple syrup. Just kidding. It wouldn’t be a waffle without some sort of topping. In this case, we’re doubling down. First, an extra-herby take on Israeli salad, or chopped cucumbers and tomatoes with parsley and lemon. My version adds cilantro and mint. And to go with, a harissa-spiked tahini sauce that you could, would, and should pour with abandon.

Like any waffle, these are best eaten still-warm from the iron. But if you happen to have any leftovers, just toss in the toaster tomorrow morning for breakfast on the go.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever waffled?

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