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Homemade Falafel Recipe

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This beloved Mediterranean street food is easy to make at home! You’ll love the flavors and textures in this delicious homemade falafel recipe.

homemade falafel on a plate

We continue our lessons in “why falafel is not a fried hummus and pita cake ball” with today’s lesson on making… falafel. If you want to read how this situation started, head over to my post about tahini sauce. It’s funny, and also important life knowledge. Fun fact, falafel is naturally gluten-free, hummus and pita cake balls are not.

And if you’re wondering, “why would I make falafel at home?” I have two good reasons. One, it’s pretty easy, and you can adjust the seasonings to your liking. And two, because then you’ll have falafel. Depending on where you live, you can’t exactly walk down the street to satisfy a falafel craving, so homemade is where it’s at!

How do I make homemade falafel?

Glad you asked! Just dump everything into a food processor, shape your balls, and go! You can bake, fry, probably even air fry… whatever works for you.

One kitchen tool I have found absolutely VITAL in making falafel is my food processor. I used to have a bitty little three cup one, which meant that I had to chop things in several batches and THEN mix together in a big bowl. I did this for years, so it’s an option, but life is so much easier with one of the big food processors! It cuts the prep time for the falafel “dough” down to all of 5 minutes flat. 

To get the super crispy “falafel shop” texture, frying is best. But you can absolutely bake them if you have a serious aversion to frying! Just preheat your oven to 400 and spray a foil-lined pan and the falafel lightly with some cooking oil. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until the falafel are a deep golden brown. An air fryer should work too, 400 degrees for about 8 minutes.

Falafel, once made, is best fresh, but it will keep a few days in the refrigerator. It never really lasts beyond 24 hours in our home because I love pretty much any food with chickpea in it. You can also freeze it though, which is great for those busy weeknights. Heat straight from the freezer – air fryer or microwave are fastest. Voila! Quick and easy plant protein to pop onto your salad, grain bowl, or in your sandwich.

To find the homemade wheat pita bread recipe, click here. If you want to skip the pita though, that’s okay! I enjoy dipping them in the tahini sauce and eating them alone or adding them to salads with a tahini lemon garlic dressing. They also make a great party appetizer.

I hope you love this homemade falafel recipe, darlings!

homemade falafel on a plate

The Falafel

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 1 hour

This crispy baked falafel recipe is so easy to make and tastes incredible! Serve your falafel in pita sandwiches or salads. Gluten free.

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup dried chickpeas
  • 8-10 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Scant teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 cup chopped parsley or cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about the juice of one fresh lemon)
  • Neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, for frying.

Instructions

1. Put beans in a large bowl and cover with water by 3 or 4 inches; they will triple in volume. Soak for 24 hours, adding water if needed to keep beans submerged.

2. Drain beans well (reserve soaking water) and transfer to a food processor. Add remaining ingredients except oil; pulse until minced but not puréed, scraping sides of bowl down; add soaking water if necessary to allow machine to do its work, but no more than 1 or 2 tablespoons. Keep pulsing until mixture comes together. Taste, adding salt, pepper, cayenne or lemon juice to taste.

3. Put oil in a large, deep saucepan to a depth of at least 2 inches; more is better. The narrower the saucepan the less oil you need, but the more oil you use the more patties you can cook at a time. Turn heat to medium-high and heat oil to about 350 degrees (a pinch of batter will sizzle immediately).

4. Scoop heaping tablespoons of batter and shape into balls or small patties. Fry in batches, without crowding, until nicely browned, turning as necessary; total cooking time will be less than 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Notes

Recipe is from The New York Times

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