Falafels – Perfectly Crispy and Delicious
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Falafels – Perfectly Crispy and Delicious

These falafel are a perfect meal packed with fresh herbs, spices and fried to perfection. They are light, crisp, and great for vegan, and gluten free diets.

My husband’s favourite meal when we went to the local restaurant was falafels. He couldn’t seem to get enough of them. Once a week we would end up there and when the restaurant revised its prices, I knew it was time to make them at home. So simple to make and you can control the quantity of spice and salt and enjoy them as often as you like.

The Ingredients for Falafel

The main ingredient for these is the humble chickpea. Add to it a few spices and herbs and you have a delicious meal!

Ingredients for Falafels

The list of ingredients for my falafel recipe:

1 cup dried chickpeas
3 cups of water
1/2 white or Spanish onion
1 cup green coriander leaves
1 red, green, or yellow chili
3 cloves of garlic
1 green onion (scallion)
1 teaspoon cumin powder
2 tablespoons chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying

Falafels – Perfectly Crispy and Delicious

Soaking the Chickpeas

The first step to getting the perfect balls is to soak your chickpeas. I like to put the chickpeas and the water in a bowl and let them sit in the bowl overnight. But they need to be soaked for at least 6 hours. So, you can soak them first thing in the morning and use them for dinner. I also add a little bit of salt to the water, so that the chickpeas absorb a little bit of the salt as they hydrate.

Soaked chickpeas

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Making the Mix:

Once they have soaked, drain the water and discard it. The next step is to grind the chickpeas to get the mix that we will use.

  • Peel and chop the onion into small pieces.
  • Wash and chop the fresh coriander into small bits as well.
  • Peel the garlic
  • Wash and chop the scallion and chili into 1 inch pieces as well.
  • I find it helps the grinding process if all the ingredients are chopped instead of just tossed in without chopping.

To grind them:

  • Add the chickpeas, onion, fresh coriander, chili, and garlic into a food processor.
  • Grind the mixture for a minute or so.
  • Add the scallion, cumin powder, salt, and pepper to the food processor.
  • Continue to grind until you have a rough ground mix of chickpeas.
  • Do not grind the chickpeas all the way.
Falafel ground mix

You do NOT want a hummus like pasty mixture. Leaving the chickpeas in a rough ground makes them crispy and crunchy. If you grind the mixture into a fine grind, then the end result will be a tough ball instead of a crispy one. You should be able to see pieces of the chickpeas when you are done.

Pour the mix back into the bowl and add the chickpea flour and baking soda if using. Mix everything using your hands. The mixture should be soft enough to form balls.

Frying:

Preheat the oil to 350 degrees and test the oil before you fry the balls. I make a tiny ball (about 2 mm) and drop it into the oil. If it rises up right away, the oil is too hot. It if takes a minute or so to rise, it is not hot enough, but if it rises within 30 seconds or so, it’s perfectly hot.

Crispy falafel balls
Crispy falafel balls

Make 15 – 2 inch balls and drop them into the oil. Do not overcrowd the oil. If you drop too many into the oil at one time, the oil will cool down quickly and the balls will absorb too much oil and will not be crispy. Once they brown from one side, flip them and let them brown from the other side. Remove them onto a paper towel lined tray.

Serving Suggestions:

Enjoy with a variety of sides such as

  • Hummus – dip the falafel in a soft home made hummus.
  • Tahini dressing – tahini and falafel are a match made in heaven. Mix the tahini with some lemon and salt and a little water to thin it out.
  • Tabouleh – a mix of parsley, couscous, tomatoes, and spices.
  • Pickled red cabbage – chop the cabbage into thin strips, and add some vinegar, salt, and a pinch of sugar. Makes for a perfect side.
  • Salad – salad is a perfect way to enjoy these. Try them with my healthy and crunchy vegetable salad.
  • Pita – make a sandwich with the pita using all of the above ingredients

Storing Options:

  • Store fried balls in an air tight container in the fridge and reheat them in the toaster oven or oven for a few minutes. They will be good as new.
  • Made extra mix? Store it in an air tight container in the freezer for up to 1 month. Defrost overnight in the fridge and fry the balls as usual.
  • Soaked too many chickpeas? Drain and freeze them in an air tight container for up to a month. Defrost overnight in the fridge and grind like usual.

Perfectly Crispy and Delicious Falafel

Course: MainCuisine: ArabicDifficulty: Easy
Servings

15

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes
Calories

58

kcal
Soaking time

6

hours
Total time

35

minutes

These falafel are a perfect meal packed with fresh herbs, and spices and fried to perfection. They are light, crisp, and great for vegan, and gluten free diets.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas

  • 3 cups of water

  • 1/2 white or Spanish onion

  • 1 cup green coriander leaves

  • 1 red, green, or yellow chili

  • 3 cloves of garlic

  • 1 green onion (scallion)

  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder

  • 2 tablespoons chickpea flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (optional)

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • oil for frying

Directions

  • In a large bowl, add your chickpeas and water. Add a little salt, so the chickpeas absorb some salt. Soak them for 6-12 hrs (overnight is the best).
  • Drain the liquid out of the chickpeas and discard.
  • Peel and chop the onion into small pieces. Wash and chop the fresh coriander into bits. Wash and chop the chili into small pieces. Peel the garlic.
  • Add the chickpeas, onion, fresh coriander, chili, and garlic into a food processor.
  • Grind the mixture for a minute or so and then add the scallion, cumin powder, salt, and pepper to the food processor. Continue to grind until you have a rough ground mix of chickpeas. Do not grind the chickpeas all the way. You do NOT want a hummus like pasty mixture.
  • Pour the mix back into the bowl and add the chickpea flour and baking soda if using. Mix everything using your hands.
  • Heat the oil in a deep pan to 350 degrees.
  • Make 15 – 2 inch balls out of the mixture and fry them until brown on all sides.
  • Enjoy with a salad and tahini dressing or with pita and hummus.

Notes

  • – I usually make a double batch and freeze half the batch for another time. Remove the mix from the freezer and allow it to defrost for about 6 hrs in the fridge. Once defrosted, fry as usual and enjoy.


What are traditional falafels made of?

Falafels – Perfectly Crispy and Delicious

Traditional Middle Eastern falafels are made with chickpeas or fava beans. Chickpeas are mixed with fresh herbs and aromatic spices and fried to perfection. Enjoyed with a side of hummus and pita.


Can you use canned chickpeas for Falafel?

Soaked chickpeas

Falafel are made with soaked and not cooked chickpeas. Cooked chickpeas tend to get mushy and don’t bind. Soaking and softening the chickpeas before processing them makes them moist from the inside and crunchy from the outside.


Why are my Falafel soggy?

Crispy falafel balls

Some recipes call for cooked chickpeas and ask for the addition of chickpea flour. That makes them soggy. For the best results soak your chickpeas, but do not cook them.



How soft should the chickpeas be for Falafels?

Falafel ground mix

The chickpeas should be soaked for 6-8 hours and should be tender enough to break apart with your fingers, but still have a bite to them. Do not cook your chickpeas before blending them.

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4 Comments

  1. David Occhipinti says:

    These were super easy to make and were very delicious. Another great recipe!

    1. Hello David,

      Thank you for your kind comment. I am so pleased that you like them 🙂

  2. That’s a great recipe. It’s going to be a favourite in our home too. Tamarind sauce and a tropical coconut sauce go really well too with the falafel.

    1. Hello Anuradha,

      Oh, so glad you liked these are they will become a favourite like in our house!

      Deepti