Easy Homemade Falafel

Let me tell you something about why I can call this recipe for homemade falafel easy. It’s because of all the trial and error that went into figuring it out! I believe that anything that you like to eat, you can learn to make at home. One of the things you don’t see behind the scenes of these recipes is how many iterations of a dish I will sometimes go through just to get to the final recipe. With the falafel, it started with a quarantine lockdown craving being unable to order some, trying to make it at home, then realising I didn’t quite have it right – then it turned into an obsession to turn this into something that tastes exactly how I imagine the best falafel should taste like. This recipe was figured out to make it foolproof so that it tastes exactly right every single time.

plate of falafel with tahini dip

Let’s throw down some ground rules that will absolutely help you with getting this right:

Chickpeas:

You have to use dried chickpeas, 100% of the time. I went through the journey with trying this with canned chickpeas the first time because that’s all I had at home. The canned chickpeas are too soft, they turn to mush and the resulting falafel are too dense and fall apart when you fry them. If you really need your falafel fix, you can chuck an egg in and some breadcrumbs to hold together, but it won’t be quite right. It’s worth it to soak them overnight (or longer) to get the texture light and fluffy, and hold perfectly well.

baking soda

This is like a secret weapon! Don’t skip out on this and it will enhance the fluffiness of your falafel on the inside. If there’s a cheat-code to making easy homemade falafel, this is the magic ingredient to getting perfect texture every time.

Fresh garlic

You might wonder why I feel the need to point this out, but hear me out. As a taste tip, this is one of the things that made a huge difference. Finely mince fresh garlic and you’ll see how the falafel practically come alive. They’ll smell heavenly even before you cook them.

Shaping and Frying

The first few iterations I made of this dish, I made them a bit more of the traditional disc shape. But since I try to reduce my oil consumption, I resort to shallow frying rather than deep frying, and they didn’t cook evenly on all sides. The ball shape is great but won’t cook well with shallow frying. The more elongated cutlet shape is perfect because they are easy to roll in the shallow oil and fry perfectly so you can have the satisfying crunch.

well, let’s not talk about it too much. These are the basics to remember for you to make super easy homemade falafel. Let’s jump into the recipe!

Print Recipe
Easy Homemade Falafel
The passive time is the wait time for soaking the chickpeas. After that - it's easy as throwing it all together!
Falafel on a plate with tahini dip and lemon
Course Side Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 1-3 days
Servings
pieces
Ingredients
Course Side Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 1-3 days
Servings
pieces
Ingredients
Falafel on a plate with tahini dip and lemon
Instructions
  1. 1.Soak the chickpeas in water overnight, at least for 24 hours - up to 3 days depending on the chickpeas. Change the water every at least every 6 hours so that they don't ferment. If you're in a hurry, use hot water, and you can add a teaspoon of baking powder to the water to help them soften quicker.
  2. 2. Drain the chickpeas and through in your food processer with the parsely, mint, onion, and garlic, and the juice of half a lemon. Blend until it resembles a slightly pasty coarse meal.
  3. 3. Mix in the rest of the herbs and spices and baking powder until completely combined. From here, you can cook immediately or store covered in the fridge until you are ready to cook.
  4. 4. Shape the falafel. Start by rolling into a ball, then flattening and rolling horizontally, tapering at the ends. Don't pack or squeeze them too tight, or they will be too dense and lose some fluffiness!
  5. 5. Heat oil on a medium heat. Drop the falafel gently in when the oil is moderately hot, so that small-medium bubbles collect around them. Ensure that you roll them over so that they are cooked evenly on all sides and a nice deep golden brown colour.
  6. 6. Let cool on a plate lined with kitchen paper towels to drain the extra oil from them. Enjoy immediately! Excellent with a tahini dip or even a simple squeeze of lemon, or simply by themselves.

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