Falafel
International Cuisine

Falafel

A traditional Middle Eastern dish, falafel are fried balls of soaked and ground chickpeas, which often include parsley, coriander leaves, garlic, lemon, and spices such as cumin, coriander, paprika. Then, the mixture is shaped into balls and deep-fried, baked, or air-fried.

Packed with herbs & spices, this crispy baked falafel recipe is bursting with delicious flavor. And if you top it with veggies in a pita, it becomes a filling and nourishing meal!

Falafel is a great vegan source of protein for people who have cut animal products out of their diet. It’s relatively low in fat and has no cholesterol if you air-fry or bake them. I’m not a fan of fried food, so instead of deep-frying my falafel, I bake or air fry them.  It comes out deliciously crisp just the same, and it’s a little lighter than the traditional version.

Over the years I have learned how to make my own authentic falafel and I am super excited to share my version with you. Today, I’ll share how to make both Deep-fried falafel and Air-fried falafel. You choose your favorite. They are perfect for adding to wraps, falafel pita sandwiches, salads, hummus platters, or any other ways that you love to serve falafel. The falafel will still turn out nice and crispy and flavorful on the outside.  And the tender insides will be bright green bursting with the best fresh flavors!

Basically, if you love falafel, it’s a must-try. These fried vegetarian fritters are often served along with Hummus, tahini sauce, or stuffed into the pita sandwich.

Let’s make a quick, easy, and crispy Falafel at home with the step by step recipe.

Preparation Time: 10min+8Hrs  ∏  Cooking Time: 15mins  ∏  Servings: 3-4 person

Level: Intermediate(Medium)  ∏  Measurement: 1 Cup ≡ 250 ml ≡ 250gm

Ingredients Checklist:

How to make Falafel:

Step1: One day in advance. Rinse 1 cup chickpeas 2-3 times and soak in enough water for 8-10 hours or overnight.

Step2: Once soaked and doubled in size, drain out the excess water and rinse them again with fresh running water in the morning. Strain water.

Step3: Add soaked chickpeas into your food processor along with the chopped onion, garlic cloves, coriander leaves. (If you have a smaller food processor, you will want to divide the ingredients in half and process the mixture one batch at a time.)

Step4: Then add spices: 1 teaspoon paprika (or red chili powder), 1 teaspoon cumin powder, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper powder, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and salt to taste.

Step5: Pulse until the mixture reaches a coarse crumb texture, stopping partway through to scrape down the sides if needed. Run the food processor 40 seconds at a time. Do not make a paste.

Step6: Once the mixture reaches the desired consistency, pour it out into a bowl. Remove any large chickpea chunks that the processor missed. Then add 1/4 cup bread crumbs (or 2-3 tablespoon all-purpose flour).

Step7: Using a spoon, mix everything well until well combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Step8: Take the mixture out of the refrigerator, add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Mix well. Then take 2 tablespoons of the mixture and roll it into a ball with your hands.

Step9: Repeat with the remaining dough until all of the falafel balls are prepared. You may even shape them into thick patties.

For Deep Frying

Step10: Once you are ready to fry. Heat oil in a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until it is shimmering. Carefully drop the falafel balls/patties in the oil, let them fry for about 3 to 5 minutes or so until crispy and medium brown on the outside. Avoid crowding the falafel in the saucepan, fry them in batches if necessary.

Step11: Once falafel turns brown and crispy from outside, carefully drain them on the kitchen towel. Repeat with the remaining mixture. (Note: If the balls won’t hold together, then add 2-3 tablespoon of all-purpose flour or chickpea flour to the mixture.)

For Air-frying

Step12: Arrange falafel balls in a single layer in your air fryer basket and air-fry for about 15 minutes at 370-380°F (187-193°C). (If you like you may apply some oil using an oil brush or oil spray).

Step13:  Flip them after 8-10minutes. The falafel is done when it’s golden brown and crisp. Repeat this process until you use up all the dough.

Step14: Once they’re brown and crispy, transfer to a plate and let cool slightly. Enjoy guilt-free eating

Step15: Serve the falafels immediately while they are warm and crispy. They go best with a plate of hummus or creamy tahini sauce. You can also stuff them into a pita sandwich. Enjoy!

Falafel

Tips:

  • Instead of Air-frying or deep-frying, you may also bake them at 350 degrees F in a pre-heated oven for about 15-20 minutes, turning them over midway through
  • While deep-frying the oil has to be hot enough so that when you drop the balls in, the outside gets nice and crispy and the inside doesn’t get too oily.
  • To check the oil, add one falafel in the center of the pan. If the oil is at the right temperature, it will take 2-3 minutes per side to brown (5-6 minutes total). If it browns faster than that, your oil is too hot and your falafels will not be fully cooked in the center. Cool the oil down slightly and try again.
  • Always Use dried chickpeas, NOT canned chickpeas.
  • Drizzle the falafel balls/patties with oil before baking or air-frying.
  • Don’t forget that you can also make Hummus yourself (rather than buying in the store). Just follow my Hummus recipe.

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