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Falafel Recipe

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Falafel

If you’ve ever wondered how to make the perfect falafel, you’re in the right place. Discover how to create delicious, crispy falafel using dried chickpeas, fresh herbs, and spices. Whether you enjoy them in sandwiches, salads, or on a mezze platter, you’ll find this recipe both easy and satisfying.

You’ll learn not just the traditional methods of frying and baking falafel, but also tips for making them extra crispy and flavorful. With this simple guide, even beginners can master the art of falafel. Ready to get cooking? Let’s dive in!

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

Ingredients for Falafel:

  • Chickpeas: Use dried chickpeas soaked in water for about 24 hours. Avoid canned chickpeas as they may be too soft.
  • Onion: One small onion, roughly chopped.
  • Garlic: 3-5 cloves, finely chopped or minced.
  • Fresh Herbs: Use fresh parsley and cilantro, about 1 cup each.
  • Spices:
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
  • Baking Soda: 1 teaspoon, to help with texture and fluffiness.
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste.
  • Flour: About 2 to 4 tablespoons, to bind the mixture.

Possible Substitutes:

  • Chickpeas: If you don’t have chickpeas, you can use fava beans. Ensure they are soaked and peeled.
  • Onion: Substitute with shallots or green onions.
  • Garlic: Garlic powder can be used if fresh garlic isn’t available.
  • Herbs: If you don’t have fresh herbs, you can use dried parsley and cilantro, but fresh is preferred for best taste.
  • Flour: Use chickpea flour or all-purpose flour as a binder. If gluten-free is needed, try using cornstarch or gluten-free flour.
  • Spices: Mix and match with your favorite spices, such as smoked paprika or ground turmeric for a unique flavor twist.

Be sure to taste your mixture and adjust seasonings as needed. Happy cooking!

Instructions

1. Soak the Chickpeas

Soak 1 cup of dried chickpeas in a bowl of water overnight or for at least 6 hours. Make sure they are covered by a few inches of water.

2. Prep Ingredients

Drain the soaked chickpeas and shake dry using a strainer. In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, 1 chopped onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 cup parsley, 1 cup cilantro, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon cumin, and a pinch of cinnamon.

3. Blend Mixture

Process the mixture until it’s smooth but still has some texture. It should not be a paste. You can add a tablespoon of olive oil if necessary. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes to make it easier to shape.

4. Shape the Falafel

Scoop out small portions of the mixture and shape them into balls or patties, about the size of a walnut. Make sure they are even to ensure consistent cooking.

5. Fry the Falafel

Pan Fry: Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Fry the falafel for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Deep Fry: Fill a saucepan with 3 inches of oil. Heat to medium-high until it softly bubbles. Fry the falafel in batches for 3-5 minutes until crispy and brown.

6. Bake the Falafel

Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Arrange the falafel on a baking sheet with a generous drizzle of olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden brown.

7. Serve

Warm pita bread in the oven. Enjoy your falafel with hummus, diced veggies, pickled red onions, and tahini sauce for a delicious meal.

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Rest the Mixture: After mixing your falafel ingredients, cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This helps the flavors to meld and makes shaping easier.

Shaping Falafel: Use a tablespoon to scoop out the mixture, then shape it with wet hands into balls or small patties. Wet hands prevent sticking.

Frying Tips: When frying, make sure the oil is hot but not smoking. Fry in batches to avoid crowding, which lowers the oil temperature. Aim for a golden brown color, taking about 3-5 minutes per side.

Oven Baking: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Place the falafel on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with a little olive oil and bake for about 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden and crispy.

Air Frying: Preheat the air fryer to 375°F (190°C). Place falafel in a single layer in the air fryer basket and lightly spray with cooking oil. Air fry for 12-14 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through.

Storing: Store cooked falafel in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Freezing: You can freeze uncooked falafel mixture or cooked falafel. For the mixture, shape into balls and freeze on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag. For cooked falafel, let them cool completely before freezing.

Reheating: To reheat, place the falafel in a hot oven or air fryer at 375°F (190°C) for 5-10 minutes until warmed through to maintain their crispy texture.

Use these tips and tricks to make your falafel-making process smoother and to keep your falafel fresh and delicious!

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

Falafel can be enjoyed in many ways, making it a very versatile dish. Here are some variations and serving ideas.

Variations

Traditional Falafel
Blend soaked chickpeas with garlic, onion, and fresh herbs. Shape into balls or patties and fry until golden brown.

Baked Falafel
For a healthier option, bake your falafel in the oven at 375°F for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Falafel Waffles
Use a waffle iron to cook the falafel mix. This method requires less oil and gives a unique shape and texture.

Serving Suggestions

Falafel Sandwich
Place falafel in a pita withtomatoes, cucumbers, pickled onions, and top with hummus or tahini.

Falafel Salad
Serve falafel on a bed of greens with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a drizzle of lemon-tahini dressing.

Falafel Bowl
Create a bowl with quinoa or rice, roasted veggies, and falafel, topped with tzatziki or a spicy sauce.

Toppings and Add-Ons

  • Sauces: Hummus, tahini, tzatziki, spicy harissa.
  • Veggies: Tomatoes, cucumbers, pickled onions, lettuce.
  • Herbs: Fresh parsley, cilantro, mint.
  • Extras: Feta cheese, olives, roasted red peppers.

Try these variations and serving suggestions to enjoy your falafel in different ways!

Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.