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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.

Falafel closeup

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.

The Ingredients:
(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
Salt, pepper
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“…

49 Comments on An easy Falafel recipe

  1. Shuki,
    The new English blog is a great idea, and it rocks. I hope it won’t take too much of your attention and replace the Hebrew one.
    Anyway there’s a small but rather important comment I must make at this specific post. Using a food processor to make falafel is fine if you have no other choice, but it is much better to use a meat grinder to produce a rougher texture for the falafel mixture, this way you get the great crispy and granular effect that is lost by using a food processor which gives a creamier mixture and makes the falafel balls a bit too dense.
    Good luck with the blog, and keep spreading the gospel to the world.

  2. Thanks for the recipe, I just love falafel but can’t buy them at take-aways as never sure whether they are Vegan or not, so need to make my own.

  3. I have been looking for a great recipe for falafel for a while now, I am so glad I came across your blog! Sounds like the best recipe so far… I live in Florida where it is rare to come across a restaurant that serves falafel, I have been craving this falafel for about a year now and I have never gotten to try it yet, it driving me crazy so I’m going home tonight and making them! Mabye I can send you a picture!!

    G-d Bless and keep up with the great recipes!



  4. Courtney – please do (send a pic, that is).
    If the falafel still don’t come out like you wanted, tell us what was wrong with it and we might have some tips that would help.
    Good luck!

  5. Thanks alot for the Falfel recipe which I was trying in different places and at last I found the best, easy and perfect one from you. Many thanks and hope you keep up with the good recipes

  6. Fatma –
    Pleased to hear that you liked the recipe. We’re always happy to be useful…
    More recipes to come.

  7. Hi,

    I found this recipe and tried to making my own falafel. The taste was good but the balls fell apart in the oil. Do you have any idea why this happened?


  8. Hi Marry,
    I don’t know the problem, but it sounds like there was too much moisture and/or the onions weren’t finely chopped.

    The mixture should be rather thick and almost homogeneous, and should left aside enough time for the chickpeas and bread to observe the liquids.

    Also, you should roll the falafel balls with your hands until it becomes round and stable. Use hot oil. Goodluck.

  9. I was a volunteer on a Kiibbutz near Binyamina in 1991. There was a little hole in the wall place near by that made falafel wrapped in freshly made pita. I can’t remember its name, but you had to line up early. Opening time was always the same, but you could never predict closing time. As soon as all fresh ingredients for that day were used up, it closed. I was, on more than one occasion, one of the many disappointed patrons to be told that the food was all gone. It was by far the best falafel I have ever eaten.

    I love your hummus recipe, next I’ll try the falafel.



  10. This looks great! I also love falafel and hummus, and currently live in Serbia where these delicacies are almost impossible to find! Now that I have dried chickpeas I am ready to try my own.

    Have you ever tried baking them? Maybe not authentic, but a little lighter. Just not sure they would get crispy.

    Thanks for the great resource!

  11. Pierre – I don’t know the specific place, but you can find good falafel all over Israel.

    Cassandra – You can cook and then bake them. There’s a snack made just like that that is sold in kiosks here.
    Also, try the Arbis recipe:

    BTW, you can find all the ingredients needed for the recipes here in our aStore
    The purchase goes through Amazon and is perfectly safe.

  12. Just curious, you didn’t mention boiling the chickpeas after soaking them. Was that an oversight or are the chickpeas really supposed to be raw before going into the oil. I found a video of–surprise surprise–another Israeli demonstrating how to make Falafel, and she boiled the chickpeas the same way you recommend boiling them for the hummus before making her falafel. So I am at a loss. Shooky, can you straighten me out?

  13. Damon – no need to cook the chickpeas. Soak, fry, eat – just like the recipe says.

  14. Despite making a couple of mistakes, these were practically orgasmic. Even my wife loved them and she isn’t a big falafel fan. Imagine if I had used fresh baked pita.

    I did a search of photos on the web and it seems that the most common sandwich ingredients are a little bit of lettuce, tomato, parsley, onion, and sauce. You mentioned the Tahin sauce of tahin, water, lemon juice and garlic. I saw one recipe that added a bit of yogurt to the sauce. Is that ever done in Israel?

    You also mentioned pickles. Are you referring to pickled cucumbers (kosher pickles in the US) or another kind? I also saw some photos with small pickled peperoncini. And do you guys really put french fries in the sandwich?

    Sorry for so many questions but although you may have found Turkish falafel (nohut köftesi) in Germany, in Ankara it’s nowhere to be seen. The hummus has been pretty bad everywhere I have tried it as well. On the up side, the döner, mantı, gözleme, köfte, lahmacun, pide, etc. can be incredible if you get them from a good place.

    Keep up the great work!

  15. I have a question too. I just went on a trip to Israel in October where I totally got hooked on falafel. 🙂 I think the best one I had was at a small area in the Judean mountains on the way to Jerusalem….the falafel balls were so spicy it made my lips tingle. I’m wondering if this recipe can be used with canned chickpeas instead of the dried ones soaked. It seems canned is the only way I can find them in my city and I’m really craving some falafel!

    @Damon-yes some places actually do put french fries on top. Two of the places we went to in Jerusalem did so…one was in the Arab market of the Old City. Forget the exact location of the other one sadly. (Can see it in my head, but don’t remember the streets) It’s not bad but I favor the ones bursting with the salad more so.

  16. Dear Christy,
    Unfortunately, canned chickpeas will not do. They are pre-cooked, and therefore too soft.
    But you can try our online store (look at the right sidebar). You can find some dried chickpeas there.

  17. My husband loves falafel, but he doesn’t like coriander. Is there a substitute? Also I’ve had falafel with a sauce that tasted more like a yogurt base instead of tahini, have you hear of anything like this?

  18. Diana –
    From my experience, most people do not like coriander, but complain something’s missing when you leave it out. When fried , coriander changes it’s flavor, so chances are you’re hubby won’t know if you wouldn’t tell him. Also, you can use dried ground coriander seeds instead of fresh coriander.

    The yogurt sauce you’re talking about is a Turkish sauce. Basically, it’s yogurt with some garlic, lemon and water. Nice, but not hardly as nice as tahini if you want my opinion.

  19. I am soooo glad I found this site! I spent a few weeks in Abu Dhabi and had the most romantic times at The Libanese Flower. I fell head over heals in love with their falafel. However, back in Namibia (Southern Africa!) it is almost impossible to find anything close to it. I can’t wait to try out this recipe! Will let you know how it was and I’ll keep on trying if mine also falls apart!

  20. I am going to try this tonight. I work at a cafe and we serve falafel but it is made from a powder – ick! I will post results.


  21. Great recipes!! I’d been looking for a recipe for a while, and all used canned chick peas, which I’m against. So thanks for that! Now, my doctor just put me on a gluten free diet, and I thought Falafel would be a good option – but it uses bread (= wheat) Do you know a way to replace the 2 bread slices so I could turn it gluten free? Maybe using rye bread instead? I don’t know.. please help, I love falafel!! Thanks!

  22. I had the same problem as Marie 4 May 2007. The balls fell apart in the oil. My wife was amused as this has happened everytime she has tried to make falafel. Can you believe that? I think the problem was too much moisture. I was very dissapointed.

    Pete R

  23. I reckon broad beans (fava beans) make the best falafels!! I use a combination of them and chickpeas – superb! And I was interested to read (in the comments above) that canned chickpeas are pre-cooked and therefore too soft to use – a very good point! I have always thought canned chickpeas make the falafels too soft – great tip! Thanks!

  24. David Roberts // December 29, 2008 at 5:48 am // Reply

    Have you tried using fava beans? Or the two together? Fava’s need to be pre- cooked in most of my experiences, unlike the garbanzo. I like the flavor of both I just wondered if someone had a mixing ratio.
    Dave in mexico

  25. Hi, thanks so much for your recipe. I have a cafe in Bangor, North Wales (Blue Sky) and we have an ongoing debate about the best falafel recipe. We have tried lots and yours is the best, and the simplest! I completely agree about the dried chickpeas; it doesn’t work with canned chickpeas. We soak ours for 24 hours and then prick some holes in them with a fork before frying. Thanks!

  26. I am eager to try our recipe. I was in Israel a few weeks ago and I am longing or falafels and swarma
    The best falafels in pita bread also came with chips on tip were in Ben Yehuda street in Jerusalem -I think the place was called Musaka.

  27. Hi guys,
    I love chickpeas in all their possible cooked forms.
    Some weeks ago I tried delicious humus and superb falafel in a little vegetarian place in Copenhagen. Since then I have been wondering were to find a good recipe to make them myself.
    I was lucky today and found you!!!
    My chickpeas are already in water. We´ll see tomorrow.

    Love and peace.

  28. Hi all,

    I love falafels but I am gluten intolerant and so cannot eate the bread crumbs. Do you have a subsitute for the bread crumbs?



    • Hi Anna,
      You can skip the bread crumbs if you you use an old style meat grinder, or an equivalent. It will make the mixture more rough (you may need to keep it on the fridge for a little longer) which will allow more air to get in and help the falafel burgers inflate better. That’s what the bread crumbs usually does.
      Good luck!

  29. I made the falafel yesterday, and they were very good, but a little to dry. How can I mke them a bit more juicy?
    Instead of 2 slices of bread I used a half slice of bread and 1 spoon of flour.( there was no more bread;) I also skipped the baking soda and sesame seeds, was it because of that?
    They were really firm balls and didn’t fell apart!

  30. I can’t wait to try your recipes! I spent 6 months in Israel and sooo miss falafel! My personal hummus recipe is lacking and can’t wait to try yours! Now if I could just import Jerusalem, the Dead Sea and the coral reef in Elat to Greece… OR I just need to visit Israel again!

  31. Thanks! I also have a question for you. This is the first recipe which uses paprika. What do you suggest? Sweet? Hot?

    [Since I’m talking about paprika, I’d like to recommend the smoked Spanish version, pimentón. The best comes from La Vera, in Extremadura — if you ever buy it at all from a foreign country, it’s really important to check the origin. Not that others are bad, but the La Vera pimentón is wonderful.]

  32. thanks for sharing the recipe.
    both hummus n falafel came out grt.
    just that my falafel did not come out very crisp, so i checked the recipe again n realized that i had to pay attention to the grinding of the chickpeas. i ground it to a paste which affected the texture later.
    next time i’ll have to be careful about the processing bit.

    but, the taste was great!
    i’ll try it again soon!

  33. Shooky,

    You mentioned being able to substitute ground coriander seeds for fresh coriander. As I cannot find fresh coriander, can you give me an idea of how much ground coriander to use? תודה רבה

  34. Thank you ever so much for posting this recipe! Made these yesterday. YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY!
    My family wont eat falafel (fussy fussy) but DP and I enjoy it. I made up a batch and froze the remaining balls without frying. I tried cooking some frozen and it left a pea sized bit of frozen mixture in the center. Next time I will thaw them before frying. It’s a great way to have a small batch of ‘fresh’ falafel at lunch.
    I used my ice-cream style cookie scoop to measure out the mixture.
    One thing I learned that I thought I might share. Even though I used soaked beans they crumbled to a mess in my oil. I discovered the reasons. First off I dont think I was pressing them together tight enough when I shaped them. Secondly I think my hands were too dry. Second batch came out perfect. These little balls are addictive!

  35. Just wanted to say thank you for the fabulous recipe! After years of failed falafel (which now I realize were mostly a result of canned/ cooked garbanzo beans) I had given up and started just using the mix. My fiance loves falafel though, so I did a lot of reading and research finally settling on your recipe. The texture was perfect. I used matzo meal because I didnt have any bread. Didnt fall apart (a problem with previous recipes) and the outside was wonderfully crunchy and delicious! Thank you so much for helping me learn to make falafel.

  36. To those of you who need to be gluten free, my friend recently made this and used rice cake instead of bread and it came out wonderful.

  37. Saying “coriander” in the recipe is a bit ambiguous. Coriander seeds are a dry spice. Coriander leaves are also known as cilantro, and they taste completely differenc trom the seeds. Coriander roots are used in Asian cuisine. So which is it here? I am guessing seeds, but the recipe should make it clear.

  38. I work at small café in Aurora, IL (SIM SIM KAFE), and I love to eat the food there. However, last week I got board of eating the same falafel everyday so, I became creative in making falafel stuffed with meat. As I was making it, I share a taste with a customer and now it is a hit among small group of meat /falafel lovers. I basically take ground beef and stuff the falafel, then fry it for another few seconds longer. I have to say it is a hot among few people so far. The only issue with it so far, I can not continue to call it vegetarian meat ball.

    • Zaid – it’s not very common, but you do have places in Israel that add ground meat or fish to their falafel, and personally I think It’s really tasty. Why not send us a picture?

  39. Do you have a good yogurt dip to go with this? It just seems so incomplete without one 🙂

  40. Hi, Just wanted to say that I made the falafel and they came out perfect. Crispy and delicious!

  41. @Zaid and Shooky – Sounds like a variation on Syrian-style Kibbeh, using falafel instead of the tradtional semolina coating …

  42. i tried the recipe tonight and it was fabulous!!! pity the pita i bought were so bad!!! thanks for your blog. tomorrow, i’ll try the hummus recipe

  43. I have just returned from Tel Aviv where, as a vegan, I lived on falafel.
    The best one I found was on Ben Yahuda. It had a flavour I thought about all week and have just realised it may have been cardamon. Could this be right?
    Is cardamon sometimes used or is it another spice.

  44. Renee Hartless // December 11, 2010 at 2:08 am // Reply

    Jinnie thanks for the suggestion about wetting your hands before you make the balls and pressing them tight to keep them from falling apart in the oil, THANK-YOU!!! I could not keep them from falling apart now matter how I altered my mixture: drier, moister, finer, courser… I wet my hands before each patty and the exterior was divine! This was using the same exact mixture of which the first skillet full crumbled so badly the oil could not be salvaged. Also I made the second batch a little thicker and fried them good before I messed with them.

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