An easy Falafel recipe
It’s very easy to make falafel. You should try that.
Falafel – as oppose to hummus (recipe) – is very easy to make, and with a little effort is needed so it would come out great. In case you don’t know what it is – falafel is the second most popular chick pea (garbanzo been) dish. A small, crunchy, chick pea burger which tastes delicious.
This recipe that I’m going to share with you, is for Arabic falafel, which is very different from the Turkish falafel that you can find in some European cities (I ate some in Berlin). I think it’s much better.
The Turkish falafel is served in a toasted bread, with some salads and spicy sauces. In Israel, as well as most of the Arab countries, we eat the falafel inside a pita bread, with vegetable salad, pickles, French fries and Tahini. You should try that.
(25 falafel balls)
2 cups of dries chickpeas, soaked in water for 12 hours
Crumbs from 2 slices of white bread
5 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped coriander
1/2 small onion
1 spoon of sesame seeds
1 teaspoon cumin spice
1 teaspoon paprika
Oil for deep frying
1. Wash the soaked chickpeas and put them in a food processor with the garlic, onion and spices. Grind until you get a rough moist texture. Add a little water if needed.
2. Move the mixture into a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and put aside, covered, for 30-60 minutes.
3. Warm the oil – it should be hot, not boiling. Add the baking soda to the mixture and knead a little.
4. Wet your hands and shape little balls (smaller then apricots). Fry until you get a deep brown shade. Serve hot!
Want more recipes? try out:
And when you are done cocking, you can always try “The Falafel king Game“…
Tried it tonight and it was great! I had a little trouble keeping it together on a few and had to strain my oil. I forgot the baking soda and they were super fluffy, not as dense as I thought it was going to be. I will make them again and try to figure out how to keep them together better next time.
I had the same issue as others with the falafel’s falling apart in the oil. I let the bread and ceci mixture sit for 45 minutes and did not add any extra water. The falafel’s stuck together nicely until they went in the oil where they disintegrated. I was left with very small and squishy patties. Very disappointing and I should’ve read the reviews.
On another note, the Hummus recipe was fabulous. Everyone enjoyed tremendously. Thanks for your blog.
Just made this tonight, and it worked like a charm. recommended recipe!
I just had to jump in an try this. Wanted to recreate my favorite falafel from a local place. First thing was adding fine bulgher wheat. Cut the flour in half and the rest was bulghar. After chilling it seemed just a touch wet so added another T. of bulghar. Still a bit wet but I just had to work with it, squeeze out some moisture and keep working with my hands. Turned out beautifully and what few small pieces broke off made some great crunchies. The wheat makes it really crunchy and seems to help hold it together. No baking powder. You just need to be patient with forming the balls and squeezing out moisture until they come together enough to slip in the oil.
Experimenting is always nice. I did come across some falafel recipes with bulghar – I don’t thing it actually makes the falafel more crunchy though, because bulghar softens very quickly when it’s wet and heated. Soaked dry chickpeas, on the other hand, remain crunchy all the way. Using either flower, wet bread or bulghar, does add starch that helps keeping the burgers together. The backing soda makes it a little more airy.
My falafels are disintegrating into the oil when I tried this recipe 🙁 I was so frustrated coz I was really excited to have this for dinner. Ate cheese omelette and sausages instead and had a nightmare about the falafels! Why are they falling apart like that???
Should the chickpeas still be fairly hard after soaking?
JM – it should be firm but chewable.
I’ve seen many recipes and some call for baking soda, some call for baking powder, and so call for none of the above. I’m confused. :<(
And when you say fresh coriander, I assume you mean fresh cilantro?
Are The 2 slices of white bread dried or fresh. And how are you crumbing them by hand or in a food processor . and last but by far not least do you recommend the meat grinder vs food processor
the bread – doesn’t matter much.
meat grinder – much better if you have one, and also makes it possible to make the falafel without any bread at all.
I am standing in my kitchen almost on the verge of tears. I chose this recipe to make falafel for my husband’s birthday dinner and they literally disintegrated in the oil while frying. I followed every single instruction exactly and all ive ended up with is a big waste of my ingredients. So disappointed because the mix had such good flavor. Very very unhappy.
Great recipe, delicious! However, the first tell ball i fried fell apart, but after rolling the balls in gram flour before frying, they held perfectly! If you’re non-vegan, a bit of egg can add an extra layer of deliciousness to the recipe.
I finally did it right 🙂 I tried to prepare falafel a few times, but they were either falling apart or I had to use eggs and fry them on a pan with a little bit of oil. The reason was the fact that some things are not that obvious to a person who grew up in Poland and never even tried a falafel. Instead of dried chickpeas I used the canned ones. Wrong. You CANNOT use canned chickpeas and you CANNOT cook the ones that were soaked. If you do that nothing is going to fall apart. Plus – I used an old-fashioned meat grinder as suggested and they came out delicious. Thank you for the recipe:)
This recipe was a disaster! Way insufficient directions, and I cook a lot. These came out like greasy mushballs AND tasted terrible to boot. My son actually spit his out! Nobody finished, and I felt like a failure.
I’m with Julia above. This recipe sucks. Don’t waste your time.
Wayne – Most people who tried this recipe liked it and thought it was easy enough to follow. And we’re talking about a HUGH amount of people who did. I’m Sorry you didn’t like it, though.
With so many people having trouble with the falafel balls falling apart, it would be super helpful to include the type of oil used for frying in the recipe above.
Also those with success stories could share what type of oil they use! Thanks 🙂
Lou – I’m not sure this counts as “so many people” because many thousands have tried the recipe, and most people think it’s Great.
Also, I do NOT believe it has anything to do with the oil. This kind of problem might have something to do with the specific chickpea you’re using, and there’s numerous kinds. Basically, anyone who ever made a burger of any kind, should know the feel of a stable ball of falafel that can go into the hot oil.
Note that some people complain about the balls disintegrating and others say they kind of “melts”. These are two different conditions, one in which the mixture is too dry and the other that it’s too wet.
I made this recipe and all the the balls or patties fell apart in the oil and I did not have any falafel by the time it was done. I was not happy person twice in the same week. I followed your recipe to the T, and used two different kinds of oils the same week, corn oil and a canola oil I also used different pans thinking it was me NOPE the same thing came out to nothing, all the balls or patties dissolved in the oil. What I was able to save on the next batch was so greasy and mushy I was like really seriously doubting myself as a cook – can you post some pictures or a video or what kind of oil to use – I used chickpea and fava flour so maybe that’s why? Was disappointed big time!
This is brilliant, so many falafel recipes include egg so I’m really glad to have found this recipe which holds together and is tasty and vegan! As it should be! I’m surprised people have been unpleasant; the recipe seems very clear to me and you have been kind enough to share it with us.
Thank you Friend!
Kim – falafel with eggs is like fruit salad with anchovy. Horrible idea.
Tried falafel for the first time while visiting Israel with my brother and grandmother, and it just hasn’t been the same here in Indiana! Definitely excited to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing!
Haven’t made them yet, but bread crumbs with herbs are a faster alternative. I make veggie burgers all the time. I only fry in olive oil, and mine never smokes. If its a loose mixture try letting it rest for a bit, as the bread would draw out the moisture. Make them in the afternoon and let them sit for a while. I’d be glad to hop back on and share my success. Zucchini cakes are harder to make than this (my recipe anyway). As for this try an i e cream scoop to give you the size and wax paper to mold them to the perfect shape. Slightly freeze, or refrigerate the separated patties prior to frying, or add more bread crumbs to tighten up the mixture. You have too much moisture in the patties, thats why they fall apart.
I tried the recipe today, and it worked very well! However, it turned out a little bland–may have been me skimping on the spices a bit.
I mixed everything except the baking powder and ran it through the meat grinder. Let it rest for an hour and added the baking powder.
A few fell apart before I realised that the first ones I put in the oil had cooled down the temperature of the oil. So make you sure you have enough heat to start with!
Turned out deep brown and crusty with a perfect texture inside.
I found that the balls hold together if baking powder is used, rather than baking soda. I used canned chickpeas, also. nice seasonings.
do I toast the bread or just crumble it
Thanks a lot for this recipe. Would you know if frying in a pan without deep frying would work as well? I do not have a deep frying pan. Maybe it would make more the shape of a burger rather than a falafel, but I would not mind.
Good, this is very similar to my favorite recipe that I make all the time. However, for those of you who had your falafels fall apart: you may not be soaking them long enough. If the dried chickpeas are old (and it’s hard to know how old they are) 12 hours is not long enough to soak them in my opinion. I soak mine for a full 24 hours, sometimes even longer, being careful to change the water at least once. If it’s a really hot day you should soak them in the fridge so they don’t ferment (which ruins their natural sweetness). Then, make sure you COMPLETELY drain the chickpeas and make sure they’re dry before grinding them. You may also want to replace some of the fresh parsley with dried parsley to absorb some of the moisture from the onions. And heres the MOST important part: the oil has to be really hot BEFORE you put the falafels in it. It has to cook and seal the outer crust of the falafel very quickly so they stay intact. If you put the balls in cool oil they will dissolve.
@ace It occurs to me that this is a good place to throw in a plug for rice bran oil if you can find it. Because of its high smoke point, it can be heated to a higher temperature than virtually any other vegetable oil and hence won’t cool off as much when food is added to it. No dissolving falafel and negligible oil absorption. 🙂 I buy mine in Chinatown but Trader Joe’s recently started carrying it.
i have tried and tried to make homemade falafel with dried chickpeas and several dozen recipes. i don’t have issues with the balls falling apart but being to dense. I have come to understand this is because I over process them. But my real issue is trying to mimic Mamouns falafel. It is the best I have ever tasted and I can’t come close to their flavor. There has to be a secret middle eastern ingredient. Some kind of spice that is not common or sold in the states. Does anyone have any ideas? If anyone has ever gone to mamouns they will know what i am talking about. Thank you for any help.
Just made this today and come out fantastic. A few tips and responses to comments above:
– you must use dried chickpeas and replace the water a few times. Soak for 12-24 hours
– oil – I use mazola but any other deep frying would do: rapeseed oil, sunflower etc. The oil has to be very hot but not smoking
– the balls should be quite dense when you form them
– the baking soda = sodium bicarbonate isn’t the same as baking powder. You find it in the baking section of the supermarket
– I think the recipe is a bit short on salt so add after tasting the first ball
– I use a meat grinder on the fine setting. The herbs get chopped in the food processor. If you don’t have a meat grinder a food processor would do just as well.
The texture should be firm and stick – bit like a burger mix and shouldn’t be too wet. The bread is added as a starch if you need the mixture to hold better when not using a meat mincer
– let the mixture cool for 1-2 hours in the fridge, it will help the ingredients stick better together
Just made it and it was really great!!!! many thanks for this recipe!!!
I used the food processor… if I use a meat grinder instead can I remove the bread from the recipe?
The problem people are having with the Falafel falling apart in the oil is a matter of how much they did NOT handle the mix. I have found when making any Falafel, you need to knead it before and after mixing and as you form the balls. Don’t simply scoop some in your hand, roll it quickly and drop it in oil. You need to let it sit for about 10 minute after initial mixing, then mix it again by hand. Scoop out enough for a ball and mash it into form and roll it between your palms.
If you don’t like working with your hands, do NOT try to make Falafel.
I have one other suggestion to prevent the falafel from falling apart.
Mix in the chopped onions at the end. Do not put the onions into the food processor.
Processing the onions makes it very watery.
Putting in chopped onions will also help to fluff up the falafel.