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    Delicious Authentic Falafel Recipe

    Published January 6, 2023. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    This delicious, easy-to-make falafel recipe is jam-packed with spices, vegetables, and herbs for the ultimate Middle Eastern dish. You will not believe how much flavor on this falafel.

    Try serving this in Pita bread with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and onions with Toum or Tahini sauce, or serve them as an appetizer and use either of those two sauces to dip them in.

    plate with falafel and parsley


     

    Falafel

    Falafels are a Middle Eastern specialty consisting of small, fried croquettes or balls made from chickpeas. Spices, onions, and parsley. They are commonly served as an appetizer or inside pita bread, along with a garlic or tahini sauce. The best part about falafel is that they are simple to make.

    Falafel ingredients and flavors will differ depending on what country you are in and who is making it. For example, in Egypt, fava beans are used instead of chickpeas. However, there are also Governorates in Lebanon that use a combination of both garbanzo beans and fava beans. I loved the flavors for this recipe using both beans, but you can use just 1 or the other if that is all you have access to. 

    Ingredients and Substitutions

    ingredients to make falafel
    • Chickpeas – You will need to use dried chickpeas and “garbanzo beans” in this recipe.
    • Fava Beans – Only shelled, split, cracked, and dried fava beans will work.
    • Parsley – Use only the leaves, no stems, of flat-leaf parsley.
    • Onion – I like a combination of yellow onions, garlic, and green onions. However, you can substitute white, red, or sweet onions for the yellow.
    • Cilantro – Use only the leaves, no stems, of fresh cilantro.
    • Spices – Ground cumin and coriander are what I used. You can also use coriander.
    • Seasonings – I use only sea salt and ground black pepper in this falafel recipe.
    • Baking Powder – This is used to help make the falafel balls light and fluffy.

    How to Make Falafel from Scratch

    Add the dried garbanzo beans to a container and completely cover it with water. The water should be 4” to 6” inches over the beans. Place in a cool dark place for 12 to 24 hours.

    adding water to a container with chickpeas

    Add the dried fava beans to a separate container and completely cover with water. The water should be 4” to 6” inches over the beans. Place in a cool dark place for 12 to 24 hours.

    covering fava beans in water

    Drain both beans in a colander and then rinse under cold water. Drain.

    rinsing fava beans

    Add the beans to a food processor and pulse at high speed until it resembles a medium-coarse grind. You may need to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.

    adding beans to a food processor

    Remove the beans and set them to the side in a large bowl.

    processed chickpeas and fava beans

    Return the bowl and blade, uncleaned, to the food processor and add the yellow onions, green onions, garlic, parsley, and cilantro.

    adding parsley to a food processor

    Pulse several times on high speed until everything is finely minced. You may need to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.

    processing onions, parsley, and garlic

    Next, add back in the roughly processed beans to the processor along with the cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper.

    adding processed beans to a food processor

    Pulse several times on high speed until the mixture is more of a fine, coarse grind. You may need to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.

    scraping the bowl of a processed fafale

    I always know when it’s done when I can form it into a small ball or disk, which holds its shape without breaking.

    making a falafel by hand

    Next, using your hands, a scoop, or a falafel scoop, make your falafel. See the video.

    scooping falafel batter

    Set them to the side on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper or add them to a pan half filled with neutral-flavored oil at or around 350°.

    adding falafel to a sheet tray

    Fry the falafel balls for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked throughout.

    frying falafel

    They should be fluffy, almost like a cake in the middle.

    cooked falafel

    Serve them on a plate or in a sandwich, along with dipping sauces like Toum sauce.

    scooping falafel in toum

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    Make-Ahead: These are best eaten right out of the oil. You can keep them warm on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and in the oven at 200°.

    How to Store: You can store the uncooked batter covered tightly in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This will also freeze well for up to 3 months. Be sure to thaw it in the refrigerator for 1 day before shaping the falafel and frying them. If they are already cooked, they will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating. It is also recommended that if you plan to freeze it without cooking it, do not put the baking powder into the batter until thawed and ready to use it.

    How to Reheat: For the first method, place the cooked falafel on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven at 350° for 4 to 6 minutes or until hot. To reheat using the second method, refry them in oil at 350° for 1 to 2 minutes or until hot.

    Chef Billy Parisi

    Chef Notes + Tips

    • If you want to add even more flavor, add 2 teaspoons of this Lebanese 7-Spice Recipe.
    • Canned beans will not work for this recipe as they have already been cooked.

    More Middle Eastern Recipes

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    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Video

    Delicious Authentic Falafel Recipe

    5 from 11 votes
    This delicious, easy-to-make falafel recipe is jam-packed with spices, vegetables, and herbs for the ultimate Middle Eastern dish.
    Servings: 24
    Prep Time: 45 minutes
    Cook Time: 12 minutes

    Ingredients 

    • 1 ½ cups dry garbanzo beans
    • 1 ½ cups dry shelled and split fava beans
    • 1/2 medium-sized peeled and roughly chopped yellow onion
    • 5 trimmed garlic cloves
    • ½ bunch roughly chopped green onions, root end trimmed
    • 1 medium-packed cup flat leaf Italian parsley leaves
    • ½ medium-packed cup cilantro leaves
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1 tablespoon sea salt
    • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • neutral flavored oil for frying

    Instructions

    • Add the dried garbanzo beans to a container and completely cover it with water. The water should be about 4” to 6” inches over the beans. Place in a cool dark place for 12 to 24 hours.
    • Add the dried fava beans to a separate container and completely cover with water. The water should be about 4” to 6” inches over the beans. Place in a cool dark place for 12 to 24 hours.
    • Preheat a 2-quart pan of oil filled to the halfway point of the pan.
    • Drain both beans in a colander and then rinse under cold water. Drain.
    • Add the beans to a food processor and pulse at high speed until it resembles a medium coarse grind. You may need to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.
    • Remove the beans and set them to the side in a large bowl.
    • Return the bowl and blade, uncleaned, to the food processor and add the yellow onions, green onions, garlic, parsley, and cilantro.
    • Pulse several times on high speed until everything is finely minced. You may need to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.
    • Next, add back in the roughly processed beans to the processor along with the cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper.
    • Pulse several times on high speed until the mixture is more of a fine, coarse grind. You may need to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.
    • I always know when it’s done when I can form it into a small ball or disk, which holds its shape without breaking.
    • Fold in the baking powder using a spatula until it is mixed in.
    • Next, using your hands, a scoop, or a falafel scoop, make your falafel. Be sure to pack it in tight so that it does not break apart while frying. See the video.
    • Set them to the side on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. or you can add them right to a pan that is half-filled with neutral-flavored oil at or around 350°.
    • Fry the falafel balls for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked throughout. Drain them on paper towels for 1 to 2 minutes.
    • Serve them on a plate or in a sandwich along with dipping sauces.

    Notes

    Make-Ahead: These are best eaten right out of the oil. You can keep them warm on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and in the oven at 200°.
    How to Store: You can store the uncooked batter covered tightly in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This will also freeze well for up to 3 months. Be sure to thaw it in the refrigerator for 1 day before shaping the falafel and frying them. If they are already cooked, they will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating
    How to Reheat: For the first method, place the cooked falafel on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven at 350° for 4 to 6 minutes or until hot. To reheat using the second method, refry them in oil at 350° for 1 to 2 minutes or until hot.
    If you want to add even more flavor, add 2 teaspoons of this Lebanese 7-Spice Recipe.
    Canned beans will not work for this recipe as they have already been cooked.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 4kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 0.2gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.01gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.04gSodium: 291mgPotassium: 16mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 0.2gVitamin A: 11IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 5mgIron: 0.2mg
    Course: lunch, Main Course
    Cuisine: Middle Eastern