Falafel Recipe: A Beginner’s Guide to Middle Eastern Falafels

Falafel Recipe

Falafel Recipe

Embarking on the journey of making falafel, a Middle Eastern culinary gem, can be both exciting and rewarding. This Falafel Recipe is designed to guide you through crafting these delectable, crispy delights that are beloved by many around the world.

Ingredients (for 4 servings)

  • 1.5 cups dried chickpeas
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-2 cups frying oil

Step 1: Soaking Chickpeas

To start making falafel, the initial step is to soak the chickpeas. Place the chickpeas into a large bowl and cover them completely with water. It’s important to allow them to soak for at least 12 hours, but 24 hours is ideal for optimal softening.

Step 2: Preparing the Chickpeas

After the soaking period, thoroughly rinse the chickpeas under cold water. Then, transfer the chickpeas into a meat grinder or blender. Pulse or grind the chickpeas until they achieve a grainy consistency, ensuring they don’t turn into a smooth paste to maintain the texture of the falafels.

Step 3: Adding Flavor

Peel the onion and garlic cloves. Add them to the chickpea mixture in the blender, along with freshly chopped parsley and cilantro, baking soda for lightness, ground cumin for a warm flavor, and a good pinch of salt and black pepper for seasoning. Blend these together until just combined.

Step 4: Mixing

Empty the contents of the blender into a mixing bowl. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together until well combined. This step is crucial for distributing the flavors evenly throughout the mixture.

Step 5: Resting the Mixture

Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. Let the mixture rest for a couple of hours. This resting period allows the flavors to meld together, enhancing the taste of your falafels.

Step 6: Heating the Oil

After the resting period, take the mixture out of the fridge. Place a small pan on the stove and add enough oil for frying. Heat the oil over a medium flame until it reaches the ideal temperature for frying.

Step 7: Shaping the Falafels

With damp hands, take a tablespoon of the falafel mixture and shape it into a round ball or a small patty. This shaping step is where you can decide the size of your falafels according to your preference.

Step 8: Frying the Falafels

Once the oil is hot, carefully add the shaped falafels to the pan. Do not overcrowd the pan to ensure even frying. Wait until one side of the falafel turns a golden brown color, which should take about 2-3 minutes.

Step 9: Flipping the Falafels

Gently turn the falafels over to fry the other side, ensuring they are golden and crispy all around. This step is critical to achieving that perfect crispy exterior while keeping the inside tender.

Step 10: Draining the Falafels

Once fried, remove the falafels from the oil using a slotted spoon. Place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil. This step helps in keeping your falafels crispy and not greasy.

Step 11: Serving

Falafel is traditionally served as a sandwich. Slice open a baguette or pita bread and stuff it with falafels. Add slices of tomato, pickles, and onion for added flavor and crunch. You can also drizzle with tahini sauce for extra taste.

Note 1: Falafel Spices

Feel free to experiment with different spices according to your taste preferences. Common additional spices for falafels include red pepper, ginger, turmeric, and dried mint, each adding its unique flavor profile.

Note 2: Achieving Crispiness

For an extra crispy texture, you can add a pinch of baking soda or baking powder to the falafel mixture before frying. These leavening agents help in creating a light and crispy exterior.

Recipe Summary

To make falafel, begin by soaking chickpeas in water for 12-24 hours, then grind them with onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, baking soda, cumin, salt, and black pepper until coarsely mixed. Combine the ingredients in a bowl, chill for a few hours to blend flavors, then shape into balls and fry in hot oil until golden. Serve in bread with tomatoes, pickles, and onions.

category: Lunch
Update by in Monday 15 April 2024


  • Jeff the Chef @ Make It Like a Man! April 12, 2024 at 3:01 pm

    Thanks for this. I love falafel, but I’ve never made it from scratch.

    • amazespice April 13, 2024 at 5:47 am

      You’re welcome! Making falafel from scratch is definitely a rewarding experience. It’s not too difficult and allows you to customize the flavors to your liking. If you need a recipe or some tips to get started, just let me know—I’d be happy to help!

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