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falafels arranged on a serving tray with onion rings, herbs and a dip. Pita bread and other chopped veggies at the background.
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5 from 1 vote

Falafel

Crispy falafels are great as a snack or as a filling in pita pockets. They also make a great base for a salad bowl. These are naturally vegan, high in protein and gluten-free as well.
Prep Time8 hrs 20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Chilling time1 hr
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Middle eastern
Servings: 25 falafels
Calories: 62kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Mixing bowl
  • 1 Colander
  • 1 blender or food processor
  • 1 Slotted ladle
  • 1 set measuring spoons and cups
  • 1 air fryer or oven if air frying or baking
  • 1 deep frying pan if deep frying

Ingredients

For hydrating the chickpeas

  • 2 cups dry chickpeas
  • 7 cups water

Other spices and herbs

  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley
  • ½ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 3 peeled garlic cloves
  • 1.25 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1.5 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1.75 teaspoon Salt or to taste
  • ½ cup finely chopped onions
  • ¼ teaspoon Baking powder

For deep frying

  • 1.5 cups vegetable oil

Instructions

Hydrating the chickpeas

  • Place the dried chickpeas in a colander and wash them well.
  • Transfer the washed chickpeas to a mixing bowl.
  • Add 7 cups water and let them soak for 6 to 8 hours.

Grinding the mixture

  • Drain the hydrated chickpeas in a colander.
  • To a food processor or blender, add the soaked chickpeas, finely chopped parsley and cilantro, ground cumin and coriander, ground black pepper, garlic and salt.
  • Now, pulse this mixture a few times to break down the chickpeas.
  • When done, add ¼ cup water and blend to a slightly grainy mixture.
  • This ground mixture will be wet and resemble a coarse meal.
  • Transfer the ground mixture to a mixing bowl.

Refrigerating the mixture

  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate the mixture for at least 1 hour.
  • Adding onions and baking powder
  • Add finely chopped onions and the baking powder to the chilled mixture.
  • Mix well.

Shaping the balls

  • Now, shape the mixture to evenly sized balls using a cookie scoop.
  • If you intend to deep fry them, then shape them into balls. If you are going to bake or air fry them, shape them into patties.

Deep-frying

  • Heat 1.5 cups oil in a deep frying wok or pan.
  • To check if the oil has heated up to the correct temperature, drop ¼ teaspoon of the wet mixture into the oil.
  • If it rises up and floats to the surface immediately, the oil is ready.
  • When the oil has heated up, reduce the flame to medium and add 4 to 5 shaped balls.
  • Fry them on medium flame for about 5 minutes.
  • Do not disturb them as soon as you drop them into the oil.
  • Wait for 1 minute before turning them around in the oil.
  • Fry the shaped balls until they are crispy and golden.
  • It takes roughly 5 to 6 minutes on medium heat, for every batch to fry up perfectly.
  • Once done, drain on a kitchen towel.
  • Serve hot.
  • Repeat with the remaining mixture.

Air fryer falafels

  • To make perfectly crispy air fryer falafels, divide the mixture into equal portions.
  • Shape each portion into a 1.5 inch thick patty. Preheat the air fryer at 375 F (190 C) for 5 minutes.
  • Brush the air fryer basket with a teaspoon of oil.
  • Place the shaped patties in the air fryer basket.
  • Spray them lightly with oil.
  • Air fry for 8 minutes and then flip the patties.
  • Continue to air fry for another 5 to 6 minutes until both sides are nicely crisped and golden brown.

Baked Falafels

  • Preheat an oven to 375 F (190 C).
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease the parchment sheet with oil.
  • Place the shaped patties, spaced 1 inch apart, on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20 minutes flipping the patties halfway through cooking time.
  • Continue to bake them till they are crispy and golden brown at the top.
  • When done, remove and serve immediately.

Notes

 
  1. Use only dried chickpeas to make the best falafels ever.
  2. Grind the soaked chickpeas +other ingredients in two batches to ensure even grinding.
  3. The ground mixture should be slightly coarse and grainy. If the mixture is too smooth, the texture of the fried falafels will be pasty.
  4. After grinding the mixture, it is very important to refrigerate it for at least 1 hour before frying. Chilled mixture will shape up easily without falling apart and also absorb less oil. 
  5. Add the onions only just before you are ready to shape and fry them. Adding onions while grinding the mixture will make it watery and mildly bitter.
  6. Baking powder should be added to the mixture only just before frying. We add this because it gives the fried balls a soft airy texture on the inside and crispy exterior. If you add baking powder before itself, the mixture will turn bitter.
  7. While deep frying, ensure that the oil is hot. If the oil has not heated up properly, the falafels will be soggy and won't cook through. To check if the oil has heated up to the correct temperature, drop ¼ teaspoon of the wet mixture into hot oil. If it comes up floating immediately, the oil is ready.
  8. Add only 4 to 5 shaped balls at one go while deep frying. Do not crowd the pan since this will make them soggy.
  9. Air fry in batches of 5 to 6 if you have a small air fryer. I have a 6 quart air fryer and was able to air fry 9 patties in one go. I do not recommend adding more than 5 in a batch to prevent over crowding. If you over crowd the basket, then the patties will steam up instead of crisping.
  10. Air fryer timings will vary based on the size and model of the air fryer.
 
 
 

For Instant Pot & Air Fryer Recipes

Instant Pot timings may vary based on your geographic location. Air fryer settings and timings may vary based on the capacity and the model of the Air fryer.

Disclaimer

Nutrition values are provided here as a courtesy and are only a rough guide. Please consult a health care provider if you have any concerns.

Nutrition

Calories: 62kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 175mg | Potassium: 159mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 141IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg
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