Last updated on September 16th, 2018
I love falafel! I love it — or should I say “them?” — in pita pockets with lettuce and tahini sauce, or simply dipped, as pictured up top, in tzatziki sauce. Falafel is a fried ball made from chick peas, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, and some common pantry spices. It looks as awesome as it tastes: crispy and bronze on the outside, and tender and herbal-green on the inside. My easy recipe:
Important Note: You say “falafel;” I say “falafels.” But let’s not call the whole thing off!
Here’s the printable:
These Middle Eastern balls are crispy on the outside, and tender and fragrant on the inside. Serve them in pita pockets with lettuce and tahini or tzatziki sauce.
- 1 cup dried chick peas, soaked in cold water for 12-24 hours
- 1/2 an onion, roughly diced
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
- 1/2 cup flat-leaved ("Italian") parsley, roughly minced
- Optional: 3 large or 5 medium sage leaves, torn or roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground corriander seed
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chick pea flour (or substitute ordinary wheat flour)
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Neutral-tasting vegetable oil for frying
- Drain the soaked chick peas, and then tip them into a food processor. Add the onion, garlic, parsley, optional sage, the salt, pepper, cumin, corriander, cayenne, flour, baking soda, and lemon juice. Pulse the machine 5 times just to break up the ingredients. Then scrape down the work bowl with a spataula. Then turn the machine on, and process until a fairly smooth "dough" comes together. The dough is ready when a small clump holds its shape when pressed in the palm of your hand. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate while you accomplish this next step: .
- Pour the vegetable oil to a depth of 2-3 inches in a heavy pot or Dutch oven. Heat the oil to 350°F, as confirmed by a candy thermometer. And while the oil heats, proceed to the next step:
- Using your damp hands or a 1 1/2-inch-diameter ice cream scoop, form the chick pea dough into 1 1/2-inch-diameter balls. Place the balls on a parchment- or wax paper-lined baking sheet.
- Use a slotted spoon or "spider" to lower 3 to 5 balls at a time into the hot oil. Fry until the falafels turn brown and crisp on the outside -- 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve the falafels hot or warm. They are particularly delicious when topped with tahini or tzatziki sauce.
Vickie P. says
I love falafel and can’t wait to give these a try. Thanks for the recipe, Kevin!
I love falafel too! But every time I try, they fall apart in the oil. I have no idea what I’m doing wrong, but I’ll give it another go round
Thanks for the recipe!
Oh falafel! Love falafels but never really thought about making them. Your recipe looks amazing. Cannot wait to try them. BTW, it is such a delight to enjoy a peaceful Sunday morning drinking my coffee and watching your video. Love Tiger’s presence too. Makes us all feel like we are old friends. Thank you, Kevin.
In this recipe can you use thoroughly rinsed canned garbanzo beans? Instead of soaking dried chick peas overnight. Sometimes I want falafel now and have trouble waiting!
Cary Bradley says
Exactly the same way I make them! Adore these guys and making them is so rewarding to me. They also freeze fabulously well, fully made up. Excellent protein source to top green salads, tossed with tahini and tzaziki. Of course you love them too, my brother from another mom. 😉
Melissa Horton says
Great! I first had falafels in Israel and have wanted to make them ever since. Thank you Kevin.
It was great to see you had a new video! I love falafels, (and your videos — you’re so darn endearing!) but have always just used the premade mix. I will definitely give your recipe a try, and maybe even do the pita bread. One thing I began doing a few years ago is making them in flat patties instead of balls. Since we eat them in pockets, it’s much easier to break them up and add other stuff around them. Those darn balls were always so ungainly in a sandwich … 🙂
I love chick peas, eat them everyday tossed in my salad.
Falafels are gluten free, something I can eat. I will have to make them soon.
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Kathleen – Canned chickpeas lack the starch that enables falafels to hold their shape during frying. Always better to use dried, soaked chickpeas.
Yummmm…. I am definitely going to try them. I am conscious of anything fried though ( and have not got a thermometer ) but could you tell me Kevin ,if I could cook them in a hot oven ?? As usual I love your videos and have tried many of your recipes. I love your kitchen by the way and had a giggle hearing Tiger in the back ground…obviously he wanted to come and help !!
David Deutsch says
I love falafel. Now that our local falafel cafe has shut down you are my salvation. These look wonderful. Thanks, Kevin, for coming to the rescue.
Kevin, you are amazing and I love everything on your site! And I love falafels, but I would prefer not to deep fry .. do you have an oven baked version?????
Susan Iseman says
I believe the plural of falafel is falafel. Just sayin’- otherwise you are perfect.
Your videos are always informative and fun to watch. The falafel look delicious. I stay away from fried foods because I don’t know what to do with all that oil after the food is cooked. Can you re-use it?
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Jeanne – Yes, you can re-use the oil. Just strain the oil through cheese cloth (or a coffee filter) after it has cooled.
Love your videos. I don’t fry so what can be done with the used oil? How can it be either reused or disposed of safely for the environment?
Elizabeth Worden says
Kevin, I appreciate your sharing your falafel recipe. I also love falafel, which are tricky to come by in Central Maine. Your recipe looks entirely reasonable, compared to some which say to used canned chick peas, I will have to try it. However, why the baking soda?
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Elizabeth – Baking soda adds foam to the falafel “dough.” Consequently, the falafel fry up crisp and light. (Without baking soda, the balls can be be heavy and tough.)