Finding the perfect recipe for a savory snack isn’t difficult when something as delicious as falafel exists! This easy falafel recipe is excitingly crispy outside and super tender inside, with the right texture and an exquisite flavor that sets your taste buds grooving with ecstasy.
It’s an ultimate indulgence if you’re searching for a spicy and crunchy snack to satiate your savory cravings.
What is a Falafel Recipe
Falafels are spiced fried balls or patties with an irresistible taste and texture, prepared with garbanzo beans (chickpeas).
Falafel primarily belongs to the Middle East cuisine and is a popular vegan dish devoured at breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
To prepare this dish, chickpeas are soaked overnight to achieve the desired texture. These soaked chickpeas are blended with onions, green chilies, herbs, and spices, to form a coarse mixture.
It is then shaped into balls or patties and fried in hot oil till they achieve crispiness and a beautiful golden hue. These balls or patties are high in protein content as they majorly constitute chickpeas, known to be a protein-rich ingredient.
Serve these chickpea fritters with spicy dips or chutneys by the side, or stuff them into the pita bread pockets and top with greens, cucumbers, onions, herbs, and tzatziki sauce, and you’ve got yourself a heavenly feast!
You can even pack these bite-sized marvels in your kids’ tiffins; I assure you, they will love to gobble them away.
Reasons You’ll ♡ this Falafel Recipe
This Baked Falafel recipe is a winner with its fabulous taste and nutrition. You will love this recipe for —
- Its crispiness and succulence,
- Naturally gluten-free and vegan,
- Hearty and wholesome,
- Packed with plant-based protein,
- Flavorful with a spicy punch,
- Kid-friendly and loved by all ages!
The best part, these falafels are a make-ahead snack recipe and can be prepared in advance. These can also be made in a big batch to cater to a larger crowd. This recipe is easy and makes a foolproof attempt for even the novice culinarian.
Serve them as appetizers at your next potluck or home party, and observe them being wiped out within minutes.
Falafel Recipe Ingredient List
Chickpeas — The star component of our delicious recipe, chickpeas add texture and loads of taste to the falafels. Chickpeas used in this recipe must be dried but soaked for at least 12 hours to reach the desired results. Avoid using canned chickpeas as they will make a mushy mixture that is not fit for frying.
Onions — Added for their sweet, intense flavor, without which the recipe will not get its deserved deliciousness.
Green Chillies — They add flavor and a burst of hotness to our recipe.
Cumin powder — The warm earthy flavor of cumin powder takes this recipe to another level.
Paprika — Lends its spiciness and renders an authentic taste to falafels.
Salt — For seasoning.
Cilantro leaves/ Mint leaves — These are added to the falafel mixture for their unique fresh flavor.
Baking Powder — Falafels are supposed to be fluffy and soft balls. Baking powder is added as it aerates the mixture and turns the falafels into soft and spongy balls.
Breadcrumbs — Gluten-free breadcrumbs are added to the mixture to soak extra moisture. Any moisture in the mix will make it mushy and challenging to take shape or fry in oil.
Sesame seeds — They are added to the falafels for their amusing nuttiness.
Oil — For frying.
How to make the Best Falafel Recipe
Soak your dried Chickpeas — Soak chickpeas for at least 12 hours or overnight for the best results. To make the perfect textured falafels, always use dried chickpeas that turn out just perfect after being soaked. Soaked chickpeas contain starch that helps bind the mixture and shape the falafels to precision.
Blend in the food processor — Add the soaked dried chickpeas, fresh herbs, spices, and other ingredients to a food processor. Pulse the food processor a couple of times to blend the mixture. The pulsed mix should resemble a coarse meal and be grainy in texture.
Chill the mixture — This step is essential. Transfer the falafel mixture to a bowl and chill it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes for better shaping. When refrigerated, the Falafel mixture gets slightly stiff, so it is easier to shape it into balls or patties.
Shape and cook — Once the mixture is chilled, scoop golf-sized balls out of the mix or form them into round patties – heat oil in a pan and deep fry the falafel balls until nicely golden and crisp. You can cook these falafels in the airfryer too. Follow the steps in the recipe card below for an airfryer Falafel Recipe.
Recipe Tips and Variations
Avoid using cooked chickpeas — Cooked chickpeas contain more moisture; to counteract the excess moisture, you will need to add more flour. This will result in a pasty texture and a bland taste that we don’t want.
Falafel Recipe from canned chickpeas — Abstain from using canned chickpeas as they are wet and contain more moisture. When blended, they make a mushy mixture that falls apart in the hot oil leading to a failed recipe.
Fresh chickpeas for best texture — Fresh (dried) chickpeas are the best choice for the most delicious falafels, as they are intact with loads of flavor. They also render the best texture, which is crucial for a successful recipe. Plus, they take lesser time to soak than the old chickpeas.
The right texture of the mixture — The mixture for this recipe has to be grainy and coarse and not pasty or creamy. Do not over-grind. So, when grinding the chickpeas and the rest of the ingredients in the blender, make sure you blend them into a uniform mixture.
Pre-grinding advice — Before adding the soaked chickpeas to a blender, pat them dry with a kitchen towel. This step ensures eliminating the unwanted moisture from chickpeas.
Fresh herbs add magic — An excellent falafel recipe calls for a magical freshness that fresh herbs can only lend. So, do not skip adding them.
Gluten-free breadcrumbs — The falafel mixture should be devoid of excess moisture, so add a little flour to it if you feel that it is soggy. I have used gluten-free breadcrumbs to let it bind better and make it free of moisture.
Importance of baking powder — Baking powder is used as a leavening agent, helping the batter rise well and produce puffed falafels. It reacts with the mixture instantly and releases carbon dioxide gas that creates lighter and fluffy falafels. Therefore, adding baking powder is an essential step not to be skipped. However, do not add baking soda as it will render a metallic taste to the falafels.
Make-ahead recipe — Falafel mixture can be prepared and stored in the refrigerator a day in advance. But do not add salt as it releases moisture and spoils the mix. You can add salt just before frying them the next day. Add salt, mix well, shape the balls and drop them in the hot oil to fry to their golden charm!
Baked Falafel — To bake this falafel recipe – preheat your oven to 400°F. Grease your baking sheet with oil. Arrange the uncooked falafel patties on the baking sheet in a single layer, brush the top side with oil, and bake for 20-25 minutes, turning them halfway during baking.
After the baking time is done, they will turn out perfectly golden and crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside!
If using an Airfryer — Ensure that the blended falafel mixture feels crumbly and wet. It should not be sticky and gooey like cookie dough.
Falafel Recipe deep-frying Tips
Ideal oil temperature when frying — Falafels need a perfect temperature when frying in the oil. 350- 370°F is the ideal temperature for making crispy and evenly cooked falafels. So, keep the oil hot over medium heat throughout the frying process. However, for perfectly crispy falafels, fry them in sizzling hot oil.
Fry in batches — Consider frying your falafels in batches to prevent them from overcrowding and bumping into each other in the pan. Too many falafels dropped in the oil in one go will not allow ample space to fluff or cook.
For evenly cooked falafels — Keep the falafels tossed around in the pan for evenly cooking. This will also let them brown evenly.
Choosing a lighter shade or darker — I prefer my falafels to be a shade lighter than the authentic ones, so I fry for a shorter duration. To attain their original dark brown color, fry them slightly longer in the oil.
Let me know what you think!
Easy to make and super addictive in taste, these healthy falafels are a must-try. I promise you will be tempted to make this recipe repeatedly!
Keep following the step-by-step falafel recipe instructions, and you will be digging into your scrumptious falafels in no time. So, shall we begin with our delicious preparation?
Should you make this recipe, please let me know your thoughts by sharing your comment below. And don’t forget to share it with your family and friends.
HUNGRY FOR MORE FAMILY-FAVORITE RECIPES, TRY THESE-
- 1 cup Chickpeas
- 3 tablespoons Cilantro leaves
- 2 small Green chilies
- 1 cup Onions finely chopped
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 1 tablespoon Mint Leaves
- 1 teaspoon Cumin powder
- ¾ teaspoon Paprika adjust according to taste
- – – Salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
- 2 tablespoons Breadcrumbs gluten-free ( add only if frying the falafels)
- 1½ teaspoons Sesame seeds
- – – Oil for frying
- Start by cleaning chickpeas in a large mixing bowl. Pour water and rinse the dried chickpeas by rubbing them between your fingertips. The water will become slightly dirty and cloudy. Drain this water and repeat the process until the water is relatively clean. Rinse the beans and drain.
- Transfer the rinsed chickpeas to a clean bowl and cover them in plenty of water. Soak the drained chickpeas for 12 hours. After 12 or more hours of soaking, chickpeas will triple in size.
- Discard the water and rinse them again.
- Set them aside to drain.
- Add the dried chickpeas, cilantro, green chiles, garlic, and mint leaves to a food processor.
- Add onions, spices, and pulse. Pulse the food processor a couple of times to blend the mixture.
- The pulsed mix should resemble a coarse meal and be grainy in texture.
- Add baking powder, sesame seeds, and breadcrumbs to the pulsed mixture. Mix until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Cover and chill the falafel mixture in the refrigerator for 30 minutes for better shaping. When refrigerated, the Falafel mixture gets a little stiff, so it is easier to shape it into balls or patties.
- Once the mixture is chilled, scoop golf-sized balls out of the mix or form them into round patties.
FRYING FALAFELS – AUTHENTIC METHOD
- Heat oil in a pan. Before frying falafels, please ensure your oil is at the right temperature – (350 to 375°F). Carefully drop the falafel balls in the oil. Tip — A temperature higher than this will cause the falafels to disintegrate in oil.
- Keep moving and turning the falafels around in the pan for evenly cooking. This will also let them brown evenly.Tip — Consider frying your falafels in batches to prevent them from overcrowding and bumping into each other in the pan. Too many falafels dropped in the oil in one go will not allow them ample space to fluff or cook.
- Deep-fry the falafel on medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until nicely golden, crisp, and all-cooked from the inside. Tip — If your oil temperature is correct, your falafels will come out crispy with less oil.
- Once cooked, remove from the oil and set them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain the excess oil. Repeat the process until all the falafels are fried.
- If frying is not your thing, you can use alternative methods. You can pan-cook, bake or air-fry your falafels. For any of these methods – flatten the round balls like patties. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a pan. Gently arrange the falafels in the pan. Cook them on medium-high heat on each side for 2-3 minutes or until they are crisp and golden. Flip them once during the entire cooking time for evenly cooked falafels. Tip — Since you will be cooking on two sides in these methods – it’s better to shape them like patties.
- Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and serve warm.
- Shape small balls or patties with the prepared mixture. Slightly press them down to shape them like patties, but do not press too hard while flattening the patties as the mixture will crumble.Tip — Skip adding breadcrumbs to the mixture (if air-frying) to absorb moisture. A slight amount of moisture in the mix is perfectly okay, as this will keep the falafels soft and tender on the inside and crisp on the outside.
- Place them in the Air Fryer to bake. Set the appliance temperature to 350°F and brush the falafels with very little oil on either side and bake for 8 minutes on one side. Tip — Since an air fryer circulates hot air much faster and within a designated space, you can get a crispy falafel with very little oil.
- Turn them halfway during baking and bake for 5 minutes on the other side. This will let them cook evenly and render them crispy. Serve warm.
- As a delicious appetizer with a dip by the side, just like how it is presented in this recipe.
- Go more creative and stuff it in a loaf of bread, giving it the ‘sandwich’ avatar, paired with greens, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, etc., and spicy dressings of your choice; to delight!
- If you love salads, here is another way to relish this recipe. Top it over fresh greens, tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, onions, and feta cheese to create a delicious salad that tastes out of this world!
- Turn to the authentic serving style, the pure Middle Eastern style- Pack the fresh hot falafels into half-cut pita bread and add the greens, tomatoes, cucumber, hummus, and a generous amount of tzatziki dip to make a wholesome falafel treat, the perfect Middle-Eastern way!