Homemade Falafel

homemade falafel

A simple recipe for homemade falafel, crisp, flavorful and very filling. Falafel, like most Mediterranean foods, is high in protein, fiber, calcium and iron. Since falafel is deep-fried, portion control is obviously important. I often serve falafel atop salad, rather than stuffed in pita.

Homemade Falafel
Prep and Cool time
Cook time
Total time
Yield: 24 falafel balls
  • 2 cups dried chickpeas
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • ½ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 quarts light olive oil (not extra virgin) for frying*
  1. Place the dried chickpeas in a large bowl and add water to cover them by 2 inches. Soak in the refrigerator for 18 hours. I usually make falafel for a late weekend lunch, so I start soaking the beans around 7pm the previous night.
  2. Chop the onion and place in a colander over a bowl to get rid of excess liquid.
  3. Drain the soaked garbanzo beans (now bigger in size and softer) and rinse thoroughly. Place the soaked chickpeas in a food processor and pulse to coarsely grind, not until smooth but with no whole chickpeas remaining.
  4. Add the onion, garlic, parsley, baking powder, salt, black pepper, cumin, coriander and cayenne pepper. Process until mixture is pureed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate while heating the oil, about 15 minutes.
  5. Heat the oil in an electric deep fryer to 375 degrees F.
  6. Use a 2-tablespoon ice cream scoop to scoop out ping-pong size balls, each weighing about 1 ounce. Gently shape each ball with your hands, using a light touch to prevent heavy, dense falafel balls. Fry the falafel in 3-4 batches, 6-8 balls in each batch, until the falafel balls are deep brown, about 4 minutes per batch. Place the bowl with the falafel mixture back in the fridge between batches.
  7. Drain the falafel on paper towels. Serve with a big salad, or if you must :), stuff inside pita bread, with hummus and pickles.
*Light olive oil has a high smoke point and is very suitable for deep frying. It's far superior both in health and in taste to heavily processed industrial seed oils such as corn or canola.

**Nutrition info based on calorieking.com.

***Recipe adapted from The Food Network.
Nutrition Per Serving
Serving size: 4 (1oz) falafel balls; Calories: 378; Fat: 20g; Carbohydrates: 36g; Sugar: 0g; Sodium: 333mg; Fiber: 4g; Protein: 15g

Falafel Recipe


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