What is falafel?
Traditional falafel is made with ground chickpeas or beans, herbs, and spices found in Middle Eastern cuisine. The mixture is then formed into balls or patties and deep fried to achieve a texture that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Our Falafel recipe for home is from the Middle East and Mediterranean, enjoyed and served as street food. Falafel is naturally vegan and vegetarian and is great for wraps, pitas, sandwiches and salads.
A tip from the front, the best falafel need a lot of herbs (twice as many as normal) and a small green chili pepper. This makes for an addictive taste. Simply insanely delicious.
the falafel ingredients
Falafel is naturally gluten free and made with a few simple ingredients.
- Chickpeas: Use only dried and soaked chickpeas, canned chickpeas are too soft and wet, making falafel difficult to shape
- Shallots: I use shallots for a slightly milder flavor, but you can use white or red onions as well
- Parsley and Cilantro: These two delicious herbs add tons of flavor to your falafel and give the inside a gorgeous, vibrant green
- Garlic: Use fresh garlic cloves instead of garlic powder for the authentic flavor
- Green Chile: A small green chilli adds flavor and spice without overpowering the falafel. You can use less, but don’t leave it out – trust me
- Spices: Cumin, Salt, and Black Pepper: Commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine, these aromatic spices have an earthy and spicy flavor that you’ll love
- Chickpea Flour: This will help bind the mixture and hold the shape while frying. I prefer chickpea flour, but you can use a gluten-free flour mix.
- Baking Soda: A key ingredient in maintaining the soft internal texture of the falafel
- Oil for frying: I like to use avocado oil, it is heat-resistant and my favorite cooking oil. But you can also use regular vegetable oil.
Are you ready to make falafel?
Great! Let’s make the batter and then fry it.
Soak your dried chickpeas overnight or for at least 8-12 hours. Note that the chickpeas will triple in volume. Therefore, cover the chickpeas with plenty of water. After soaking, drain, drain and rinse with clear water.
Place all ingredients in a food processor. Place the chickpeas, onion, parsley, cilantro, garlic, chili, and spices in a food processor. I recommend roughly chopping the onion, herbs, and pepper before adding. Pulse the food processor but do not mix fully. The final mixture should resemble coarse sand. I prefer an electric meat grinder by grinding the mass through 2x.
Put the mixture in a bowl. Then add the chickpea flour and baking powder, mix well and cover with plastic wrap or a lid.
Put the bowl in the fridge. The falafel mixture needs to rest cold for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Shape your falafel. You can do this by hand or with portioning tongs, which are otherwise used for ice cream balls. Decide whether you want round balls or flatter patties. The flatter shapes are better when you want to fry or bake. Any form can be used for frying.
Falafel is best served immediately after frying, while still warm and crispy. They can be delicious served in pita, in salad bowls, wrapped in lettuce or collards, or served on top of a simple green salad. But however you serve them, don’t forget to drizzle them with tahini sauce.
if you like our Falafel recipe for home, you might also be interested in these recipes:
- Falafel bowl with orange and herb couscous
- Chickpea Zucchini Curry
- Cauliflower steaks from the oven
- Spelled barley salad with vegetables
- more salads
make easy vegan falafel at home
- 200 grams dried chickpeas*
- 1 small bunch parsley freshly chopped
- 1 small Bunch of coriander freshly chopped
- 2 clove of garlic chopped up
- 2 shallot or onion
- 17 grams sesame black/white*
- 1 green chili pepper
- 1,5 tsp Cumin* more to taste
- 2 tbsp. chickpea flour*
- 1 pack baking powder
- avocado oil* or vegetable oil
- Soak the dried chickpeas in water the night before. Make sure there is enough water to cover the chickpeas as they will roughly triple in volume.
- Drain the chickpeas in a colander, rinse and drain well.
- Peel and coarsely dice the shallots. Peel and finely dice the garlic.
- Wash herbs and shake dry.
- Place the veggies in a food processor or blender (use the pulse, you want a crumbly dough, not a paste) and mix with the spices. We have had our best experiences with an electric meat grinder (ground twice).
- Put the mass in a bowl. Knead in the flour and baking powder with your hands. Season well again and season if necessary. The dough should no longer be wet and not stick to your hands.
- Dough, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Shape the mixture into small balls or patties.
- Heat a large pan over medium-high heat and add enough oil. about 1 cm high.
- Once the oil is hot, only add so many falafels to the oil
- Fry the falafel until golden brown. The darker the falafel, the crispier they will be.
- Serve falafel warm or cold with tahini sauce or hummus, in a salad bowl, pita bread or simply on a bed of fresh lettuce.
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a few days. Freezing falafel lasts up to 1 month.