- 1 cup dried chickpeas (1/2 lb)*
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/2 sm onion, roughly chopped
- 2 to 4 tbsp flour (or chana flour to make them gluten free)
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 2 tbsp finely minced parsley
- 2 tbsp finely minced mint
Note: Using dried, not canned, chickpeas is essential when making falafels. If canned chickpeas are used the mixture will be mushy, wet, and not hold together.
Also, note that this recipe can easily and successfully be doubled or even tripled, etc.
To make the falafels, place the dried chickpeas into a large bowl and cover with approximately 3 inches of cold water. Let soak overnight and then rinse and drain. You will have approximately 3 cups of beans after soaking.
In a food processor, pulse the garlic a few times and then add the onion and pulse again. Next, add the chickpeas, salt, pepper, baking powder, and 2 tablespoons of the flour and pulse everything together. Scrape the sides of the food processor down as needed.
When done, the mixture should resemble something between a course meal (sort of like couscous) and a paste and should hold together when pressed between your hand and fingers. If using regular flour, the 2 tablespoons are likely enough—if using chana flour, you may need to add a bit more.
Depending on the size of your food processor, you might want to do this in 2 batches—this is especially true if you are doubling the recipe.
Once done, pour the mixture into a large bowl and add the parsley and mint. Stir to evenly combine the ingredients.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
In the meantime, you can jump ahead and make the Tahini Sauce.
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely minced
We very much like the taste of the chickpeas above as they really highlight the flavor of the chickpea, without it being overpowered with additional ingredients; however, there are so many things that can be added to falafels to give them slightly different flavor profiles.
Try experimenting with different spices to see what you prefer.
- 1 to 2 tbsp flour (or chana flour), if needed
- 3 to 5 tbsp cooking oil (canola, vegetable or grapeseed)
How to form the falafels simply comes down to personal preference. The falafels can be formed into round balls, flatter patties, quenelles, or they can be formed using a traditional falafel scoop. The size of the falafels also comes down to personal preference. We typically use about 2 tablespoons per falafel.
The falafels can also be formed into crouton-shaped pieces and fried or baked. The chickpea mixture can even be roughly crumbled and fried.
Before proceeding, it’s a good idea to do a tester—does the falafel have enough seasoning, does it hold together during cooking—if not, add a bit more seasoning and/or more flour.
To cook the falafels, they can either be baked in a 400°F (200°C) oven, for approximately 15 minutes, or until they are cooked all the way through and slightly golden colored on the outside. If desired, the baking tray can be oiled and the falafels can be lightly brushed or sprayed with oil—to help give them a bit more color. If no oil is used, the falafels with not be evenly golden on all sides, but that’s totally fine, they will still be delicious.
Frying falafels is the traditional way of cooking them and it also gives them the best color. If frying the falafels, add an inch or so of oil to a frying pan. Once the oil is hot (it’s a good idea to do a tester to ensure the falafel cooks evenly throughout), shallow-fry the falafels—carefully flipping them once during cooking, until they are fully cooked through and golden brown on both sides.
- Tahini Sauce
- shredded lettuce
- sliced tomatoes
- diced onions
- crisp pickles
- pickled turnip or red cabbage
For a crunchier falafel with a slightly nutty flavor, roll the falafels in sesame seeds before frying.
For a more green falafel, add more parsley, mint, and/or fresh cilantro.
For Egyptian falafels, use fava beans (or a mixture of fava and chickpeas) instead of just chickpeas. Also, add additional herbs such as dill and fresh cilantro.
To make these falafels more keto-friendly, you can reduce the amount of chickpeas to 1/2 cup and add 1 cup of cauliflower instead. Also, instead of using chana flour, almond flour can be used instead — along with 2 tablespoons of flax meal to help bind the falafels.