Tasty, crispy, and full of protein, falafels make a great snack or addition to the main meal. This Middle Eastern falafel recipe is pretty fast and easy to make. Serve with pita, hummus, tahini, and salad for a complete meal
Soak chickpeas in a large bowl with plenty of water. Leave to soak for 8 to 10 hours – overnight is best. Wash and drain well. Set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, add the chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, onion and spices. Pulse until you have a coarse wet bread crumb consistency. Pro tip - Consistency is important, when you press the mixture in your fist you should be able to make a ball. If not, pulse some more (see video).
Transfer the mixture to a bowl, and add the remaining ingredients - salt, pepper, baking powder, and flour. Combine well. Pro tip - This mixture can be kept in the fridge for up to 24 hours or until ready to fry.
Take about 2 tablespoon amount of falafel mixture in your hands and shape into a ball (about the size of a walnut). Set aside. Do the same with all others. Pro tip - Dipping your hands in water makes it easier as it prevents the mixture from sticking to your hands.
These balls can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge until you are ready to serve.Pro tip - Falafel is best served hot as soon as they are made so don't deep fry them in advance.
Frying the falafel
Heat cooking oil in a deep-fryer or large pot, about 3 inches deep, so the falafel balls will float. The oil should be medium heat about 325 F.Pro tip - You can use a thermometer to keep the oil at the right temperature. As a guide, if you drop a falafel in the oil it should sizzle not sink.
Deep fry the falafels in the oil for about 3 to 4 minutes each until golden brown and cooked through. Pro tip - Do not overcrowd the pan as it will bring the temperature of the oil down and cause the falafel to break in the oil.
Do not use canned or cooked chickpeas for this recipe. This recipe works best with hydrated chickpeas soaked for at least 4 to 6 hours and can be soaked for up to 24 hours.
The consistency of the falafel is important. It must be a good balance of fine and coarse chickpea mixture. So, you must be able to shape the mixture into a ball.
Deep frying falafel - The oil must be hot about 375 F. Too cold and the falafel will break and soak too much oil. Too hot will cause the falafel to become too brown without cooking through. Remember these are raw chickpeas so they do need about 3 to 4 minutes of cooking.
Baking falafel - falafel can be baked in the oven at 350F/177C/Gas mark 4 for 15 to 20 minutes. Place them on an oiled baking tray and spray them with oil, turning them at least once during baking. For baking, I prefer to shape them flat disc rather than into balls.
Golden falafel - deep frying will give the falafel that classic golden color. Unfortunately, baking does not. So if you choose to bake do not wait for them to become brown this can result in them overbaking or drying out.
Freezing falafel mixture - the mixture can be frozen in freezer-safe storage bags for up to a month. Alternatively, you can shape them into balls and freeze them on a baking tray. Once frozen place them in storage bags and freeze for up to a month. For best results thaw in the fridge overnight.
The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you