Simple and Delicious Homemade Falafel
Simple, delicious, and authentic falafel recipe. A combination of chickpeas, spices, and herbs that blend together to make the most delicious falafel you can make from home.
I absolutely love falafel. In fact, I had a shirt in high school (back in 2003) that said “I ❤️ Falafel” much to the confusion of my small-town Oregonian classmates. I first had falafel when I was 13 or 14 from a restaurant called “The Mediterranean” at the Park and Shop on Willow Pass, Rd, in Concord, CA. I remember it so well! The falafel was so delicious and formative to my culinary origin story. I never liked meat growing up so discovering a cuisine that includes plant-based options as a celebrated staple and not just an alternative to meat really resonated with me. But this was only a secondary detail next to the fact that it was incredible. Savory, herbaceous, nutty, and crispy fried. What was not to love!
Since that experience, and because I didn’t have a Mediterranean or Middle Eastern restaurant in my hometown that served them, I was determined to find more opportunities to enjoy falafel. Over the years I’ve tried a few recipes and used the box mix many, many times, but I hadn’t really been satisfied. Fast forward to now, I believe I’ve finally cracked the recipe that makes the best simple and delicious homemade falafel. So now this recipe will have a permanent spot on VegenSomehow.blog!
What is Falafel
So I’ve gone on and on about how much falafel has been formative to my personal food journey, but I haven’t even explained what it is! Likely, if you’ve found this blog post, you know what it is. However, if you’re new to the dish, it’s traditionally a mixture of ground chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or fava beans, blended with different herbs and spices then rolled into balls or patties, and then fried. It’s a Middle Eastern or Mediterranean dish, believed to have originated in Egypt. It is eaten throughout the Middle East, typically as street food.
Ingredients for Falafel
The ingredients you’ll need to put on your grocery list when you plan on making this recipe are as follows:
- Dried Chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) – not canned, the texture will not be correct with canned chickpeas.
- Fresh Parsley
- Fresh Cilantro
- Ground Coriander
- Ground Cumin
- Red Pepper Flake
- Kosher salt
- Chickpea flour (however all-purpose flour can be used)
- Baking Soda
- Sriracha Sauce (my personal addition)
- Oil for Frying
Tips for Making Simple and Delicious Homemade Falafel
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve tried quite a few falafel recipes. Here’s what I’ve learned from that trial and error:
Tip #1 – Use a food processor
Tip #2 – Blend the Garlic and Onion first in the food processor to ensure there are no big chunks and you don’t over blend the chickpeas. I’ve over blended the chickpeas trying to get the chunks of onion smaller, and the result was not good.
Tip #3 – Fry! There are plenty of falafel recipes that say you can bake the falafel, which is fine. You can bake this recipe too. But I HIGHLY suggest frying them if you want the authentic falafel taste and crunch.
Tip #4 – Fry a test falafel ball before you form the rest of your falafel patties to taste and see if you need to adjust the seasoning, like adding more salt, lemon juice, or spice from more red pepper flake and sriracha.
How to Serve Falafel
Falafel is served either in pita, or on a plate dish. It’s paired with tomatoes, lettuce, and usually a tahini sauce. Try these other VeganSomehow recipes to go with your Simple and Delicious Homemade Falafel:
Simple and Delicious Homemade Falafel
- 1 Cup Dried Chickpeas (not canned) Soaked in boiling water for 6 hours or overnight in non-boiling water.
- 1 Onion quartered
- 4 Garlic cloves roughly chopped
- 1 Cup Fresh Parsley
- 1 Cup Fresh Cilantro
- 2 teaspoons Ground Coriander
- 2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flake
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt or more to taste
- 1 Tablespoon Sriracha sauce
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- Tablespoons Chickpea Flour or all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
- Oil for Frying olive or a neutral oil
Soak the Dried Chickpeas
- 6 hours prior to making the falafel, boil water in a kettle.
- Add the 1 cup of dried chickpeas to a heat-proof bowl and then pour the boiling water over them, leaving about 2 inches of water headspace.
- Alternatively, you can soak the chickpeas overnight in tap water.
- After the chickpeas have finished soaking and you're ready to make the falafel mixture, drain and rinse them.
Make the Falafel Mixture
- First blend the onion and garlic in a food processor. Either use the grater attachment or the S blade (or like me, use the grater attachment AND then the s blade for more processing) process the onion and garlic together until they are blended well and no large chunks are left.
- With the S blade fitted to the food processor, to the onion and garlic, add the soaked chickpeas, fresh parsley, fresh cilantro, coriander, cumin, red pepper flake, salt, sriracha, lemon, flour, and baking soda.
- Pulse the ingredients in the food processor until the mixture is grainy, coarse, and evenly mixed.
Fry the Falafel
- In a large skillet, heat 1/2 inch of oil to about 350 degrees F.
- Form the first falafel ball by scooping 2 tablespoons of mixture and forming a small patty. (Note: you can fry this patty alone to taste and test the seasoning, and then make any seasoning adjustments to the rest of the mixture)
- Continue forming patties and then fry in small batches, cooking the falafel for about 2-3 minutes on both sides, or until golden brown.
- Drain the falafel on a kitchen towel and then serve on pita or in a salad.