Finding the perfect recipe for a savory snack isn’t difficult when something as delicious as falafel exists! This easy falafel recipe is excitingly crispy outside and super tender inside, with the right texture and an exquisite flavor that sets your taste buds grooving with ecstasy.
It’s an ultimate indulgence if you’re searching for a spicy and crunchy snack to satiate your savory cravings.
What is a Falafel Recipe
Falafels are spiced fried balls or patties with an irresistible taste and texture, prepared with garbanzo beans (chickpeas).
Falafel primarily belongs to the Middle East cuisine and is a popular vegan dish devoured at breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
To prepare this dish, chickpeas are soaked overnight to achieve the desired texture. These soaked chickpeas are blended with onions, green chilies, herbs, and spices, to form a coarse mixture.
It is then shaped into balls or patties and fried in hot oil till they achieve crispiness and a beautiful golden hue. These balls or patties are high in protein content as they majorly constitute chickpeas, known to be a protein-rich ingredient.
Serve these chickpea fritters with spicy dips or chutneys by the side, or stuff them into the pita bread pockets and top with greens, cucumbers, onions, herbs, and tzatziki sauce, and you’ve got yourself a heavenly feast!
You can even pack these bite-sized marvels in your kids’ tiffins; I assure you, they will love to gobble them away.
Reasons You’ll ♡ this Falafel Recipe
This Baked Falafel recipe is a winner with its fabulous taste and nutrition. You will love this recipe for —
- Its crispiness and succulence,
- Naturally gluten-free and vegan,
- Hearty and wholesome,
- Packed with plant-based protein,
- Flavorful with a spicy punch,
- Kid-friendly and loved by all ages!
The best part, these falafels are a make-ahead snack recipe and can be prepared in advance. These can also be made in a big batch to cater to a larger crowd. This recipe is easy and makes a foolproof attempt for even the novice culinarian.
Serve them as appetizers at your next potluck or home party, and observe them being wiped out within minutes.
Falafel Recipe Ingredient List
Chickpeas — The star component of our delicious recipe, chickpeas add texture and loads of taste to the falafels. Chickpeas used in this recipe must be dried but soaked for at least 12 hours to reach the desired results. Avoid using canned chickpeas as they will make a mushy mixture that is not fit for frying.
Onions — Added for their sweet, intense flavor, without which the recipe will not get its deserved deliciousness.
Green Chillies — They add flavor and a burst of hotness to our recipe.
Cumin powder — The warm earthy flavor of cumin powder takes this recipe to another level.
Paprika — Lends its spiciness and renders an authentic taste to falafels.
Salt — For seasoning.
Cilantro leaves/ Mint leaves — These are added to the falafel mixture for their unique fresh flavor.
Baking Powder — Falafels are supposed to be fluffy and soft balls. Baking powder is added as it aerates the mixture and turns the falafels into soft and spongy balls.
Breadcrumbs — Gluten-free breadcrumbs are added to the mixture to soak extra moisture. Any moisture in the mix will make it mushy and challenging to take shape or fry in oil.
Sesame seeds — They are added to the falafels for their amusing nuttiness.
Oil — For frying.
How to make the Best Falafel Recipe
Soak your dried Chickpeas — Soak chickpeas for at least 12 hours or overnight for the best results. To make the perfect textured falafels, always use dried chickpeas that turn out just perfect after being soaked. Soaked chickpeas contain starch that helps bind the mixture and shape the falafels to precision.
Blend in the food processor — Add the soaked dried chickpeas, fresh herbs, spices, and other ingredients to a food processor. Pulse the food processor a couple of times to blend the mixture. The pulsed mix should resemble a coarse meal and be grainy in texture.
Chill the mixture — This step is essential. Transfer the falafel mixture to a bowl and chill it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes for better shaping. When refrigerated, the Falafel mixture gets slightly stiff, so it is easier to shape it into balls or patties.
Shape and cook — Once the mixture is chilled, scoop golf-sized balls out of the mix or form them into round patties – heat oil in a pan and deep fry the falafel balls until nicely golden and crisp. You can cook these falafels in the airfryer too. Follow the steps in the recipe card below for an airfryer Falafel Recipe.
Recipe Tips and Variations
Avoid using cooked chickpeas — Cooked chickpeas contain more moisture; to counteract the excess moisture, you will need to add more flour. This will result in a pasty texture and a bland taste that we don’t want.
Falafel Recipe from canned chickpeas — Abstain from using canned chickpeas as they are wet and contain more moisture. When blended, they make a mushy mixture that falls apart in the hot oil leading to a failed recipe.
Fresh chickpeas for best texture — Fresh (dried) chickpeas are the best choice for the most delicious falafels, as they are intact with loads of flavor. They also render the best texture, which is crucial for a successful recipe. Plus, they take lesser time to soak than the old chickpeas.
The right texture of the mixture — The mixture for this recipe has to be grainy and coarse and not pasty or creamy. Do not over-grind. So, when grinding the chickpeas and the rest of the ingredients in the blender, make sure you blend them into a uniform mixture.
Pre-grinding advice — Before adding the soaked chickpeas to a blender, pat them dry with a kitchen towel. This step ensures eliminating the unwanted moisture from chickpeas.
Fresh herbs add magic — An excellent falafel recipe calls for a magical freshness that fresh herbs can only lend. So, do not skip adding them.
Gluten-free breadcrumbs — The falafel mixture should be devoid of excess moisture, so add a little flour to it if you feel that it is soggy. I have used gluten-free breadcrumbs to let it bind better and make it free of moisture.
Importance of baking powder — Baking powder is used as a leavening agent, helping the batter rise well and produce puffed falafels. It reacts with the mixture instantly and releases carbon dioxide gas that creates lighter and fluffy falafels. Therefore, adding baking powder is an essential step not to be skipped. However, do not add baking soda as it will render a metallic taste to the falafels.
Make-ahead recipe — Falafel mixture can be prepared and stored in the refrigerator a day in advance. But do not add salt as it releases moisture and spoils the mix. You can add salt just before frying them the next day. Add salt, mix well, shape the balls and drop them in the hot oil to fry to their golden charm!
Baked Falafel — To bake this falafel recipe – preheat your oven to 400°F. Grease your baking sheet with oil. Arrange the uncooked falafel patties on the baking sheet in a single layer, brush the top side with oil, and bake for 20-25 minutes, turning them halfway during baking.
After the baking time is done, they will turn out perfectly golden and crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside!
If using an Airfryer — Ensure that the blended falafel mixture feels crumbly and wet. It should not be sticky and gooey like cookie dough.
Falafel Recipe deep-frying Tips
Ideal oil temperature when frying — Falafels need a perfect temperature when frying in the oil. 350- 370°F is the ideal temperature for making crispy and evenly cooked falafels. So, keep the oil hot over medium heat throughout the frying process. However, for perfectly crispy falafels, fry them in sizzling hot oil.
Fry in batches — Consider frying your falafels in batches to prevent them from overcrowding and bumping into each other in the pan. Too many falafels dropped in the oil in one go will not allow ample space to fluff or cook.
For evenly cooked falafels — Keep the falafels tossed around in the pan for evenly cooking. This will also let them brown evenly.
Choosing a lighter shade or darker — I prefer my falafels to be a shade lighter than the authentic ones, so I fry for a shorter duration. To attain their original dark brown color, fry them slightly longer in the oil.
Let me know what you think!
Easy to make and super addictive in taste, these healthy falafels are a must-try. I promise you will be tempted to make this recipe repeatedly!
Keep following the step-by-step falafel recipe instructions, and you will be digging into your scrumptious falafels in no time. So, shall we begin with our delicious preparation?
Should you make this recipe, please let me know your thoughts by sharing your comment below. And don’t forget to share it with your family and friends.
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Add the dried chickpeas, cilantro, green chiles, garlic, and mint leaves to a food processor.
Add onions, spices, and pulse. Pulse the food processor a couple of times to blend the mixture.
The pulsed mix should resemble a coarse meal and be grainy in texture.
Add baking powder, sesame seeds, and breadcrumbs to the pulsed mixture. Mix until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Cover and chill the falafel mixture in the refrigerator for 30 minutes for better shaping. When refrigerated, the Falafel mixture gets a little stiff, so it is easier to shape it into balls or patties.
Once the mixture is chilled, scoop golf-sized balls out of the mix or form them into round patties.
FRYING FALAFELS – AUTHENTIC METHOD
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I store my freshly prepared falafels?
Falafels taste best when eaten fresh as the outer layer is crispy, and the interior is soft and fluffy, making it an irresistible treat.
However, you can store the leftover falafels for a day in the refrigerator after transferring them to an airtight container lined with parchment paper.
After refrigeration, you will find them losing their texture, but reheating them in the air fryer or the oven will bring them back to their crispiness.
Can I freeze these Falafels?
Yes, these falafels are completely freezer-friendly. You can freeze the uncooked falafel balls/patties and use them when needed later.
Pre-made falafel balls also freeze well for up to 2 months.
However, it would be best if you thawed them in the refrigerator overnight to be cooked the next day by following the directions given in the recipe below.
How can I serve these Falafels best?
These falafels are a perfect example of scrumptiousness at their best! You have ample ways to surprise your guests and family when serving this delicious preparation.
You can serve them —
- As a delicious appetizer with a dip by the side, just like how it is presented in this recipe.
- Go more creative and stuff it in a loaf of bread, giving it the ‘sandwich’ avatar, paired with greens, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, etc., and spicy dressings of your choice; to delight!
- If you love salads, here is another way to relish this recipe. Top it over fresh greens, tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, onions, and feta cheese to create a delicious salad that tastes out of this world!
- Turn to the authentic serving style, the pure Middle Eastern style- Pack the fresh hot falafels into half-cut pita bread and add the greens, tomatoes, cucumber, hummus, and a generous amount of tzatziki dip to make a wholesome falafel treat, the perfect Middle-Eastern way!
Calories: 27kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 26mg | Potassium: 62mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 61IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg