An easy homemade falafel recipe produces delightfully flavorful, crispy results. Serve it on top of a salad for a healthy and filling meal.
I really like this recipe. It may seem complex, but it’s actually an easy one. Your food processor does most of the work. And if you use an electric deep fryer, even the deep frying part is not that complicated.
This homemade falafel recipe produces crispy and flavorful falafel balls. They are very tasty, perhaps even a bit too tasty! I consider a serving as 4 of them, but I often end up eating 6. Yes, they are that good!
One of my best childhood memories is going with my parents and little brother to the open air market in Jerusalem and buying big, warm, fragrant falafel wraps for our dinner.
We did it about once a month and I always looked forward to those meals. My brother, a skinny little thing, would get half a wrap, and would still always finish his meal last, to my great dismay!
The ingredients used in this recipe
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe. The exact amounts are listed in the recipe card below.
- Dried chickpeas
- Onion and garlic
- Baking powder
- Salt and pepper
- Spices: cumin, coriander, cayenne
- Avocado oil for frying
How to make homemade falafel
This recipe is surprisingly easy. You do need to soak the chickpeas for 18 hours, but that’s not difficult to do. It just takes time. And the deep frying, if you use an electric deep fryer, is also not difficult.
Apart from that, you simply mix the ingredients in your food processor and shape them into balls. Easy!
The detailed instructions are in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
- Your first step is to soak the chickpeas in water, in the fridge, for 18 hours.
- When ready to make the falafel, start by draining the soaked chickpeas and rinsing them.
- Process the chickpeas and then the remaining ingredients in your food processor.
- Scoop portions of the mixture, shape into balls, and deep-fry until deep golden brown.
Is this falafel recipe healthy?
Obviously, this is not a paleo recipe and it’s also not a low carb recipe. But my husband and I find that as long as I serve it on top of a salad, rather than in a wrap or in pita bread, it doesn’t spike our blood sugar.
If you need to watch your carb intake, you’ll need to test for yourself of course.
Why falafel recipe? Why not just buy it?
These days I’m reluctant to eat it at restaurants, after a food poisoning incident a few years ago. Apparently, some restaurants reuse their frying oil improperly, causing it to become rancid and unhealthy.
Another reason to make it at home is that when you deep-fry at home, you can use not just fresh oil, but also a healthier oil such as avocado oil.
How to serve homemade falafel
The traditional way is to serve it in pita pockets or in wraps. And it’s delicious!
But to keep this dish truly healthy, I usually serve it on top of a simple salad made with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and red onions. I drizzle the salad with homemade tahini sauce.
You can also serve it in a lettuce wrap. Both healthy options are very tasty.
How to store leftovers?
You can keep leftovers of this homemade falafel recipe in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. Reheat them gently, in the microwave on 50% power. They are also quite good when eaten cold!
- 2 cups dried chickpeas
- 1 medium onion
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (gluten-free if needed)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 quarts avocado oil for frying
- 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.
- Chop the onion and place in a colander over a bowl to get rid of excess liquid.
- 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.
- Add the drained 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.
- Heat the oil in an electric deep fryer to 375 degrees F.
- Use a 2-tablespoon scoop to portion 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.
- Drain the falafel on paper towels. Serve immediately.