Who doesn’t love some good falafel served hot in a warm pita, smothered with hummus, cucumbers, tomatoes, and onion? YUM! Hungry yet? I am. Even some of my hardcore carnivore friends (don’t worry I’m working on them) seem to enjoy some great falafel. It’s an easy sell whenever I need to bring something for a lunch gathering. I always make a large batch and freeze half of them to use for a quick lunch as a salad-topping on a bed of crispy romaine lettuce, with tons of cucumber, tomato, onion, tabouli, and lots of tahini. YUM!
This recipe is:
- crispy on the outside
- fluffy on the inside
You want an awesome gluten-free tabouli recipe to go with it? Check out this recipe quinoa tabouli
my falafel recipe
Yield 30 balls
- 2 cups dried chickpeas/garbanzos, soaked overnight
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4-5 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2-1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- pinch of ground cardamom
- 2 teaspoon chickpea flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Vegetable oil for frying
- RINSE & SOAK. Rinse the chickpeas under cold running water and discard cracked or broken chickpeas. Pour the chickpeas into a large bowl and cover with water. Use at least 2 inches of water above the chickpeas, as they will expand to 4-5 cups. Add a couple tablespoons of an acid, like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, then soak for 8-12 hours or overnight. Drain, rinse, and set aside. NOTE: Do not pre-cook chickpeas. This will result in a mushy falafel.
- PROCESS. Add onion and garlic into food processor and pulse until they break up. Add parsley and cilantro and blend for about 30-40 seconds and scrape down sides. Add additional seasonings, chickpeas, chickpea flour, and baking soda and blend until it becomes somewhere between a crumbly texture and a paste. Test to see if a ball will form easily. If it does not stay in a ball, your mixture may be too wet. Add some more chickpea flour and blend and test again. Once blended, move ingredients to a bowl and mix with a fork to make sure all chickpeas are blended and adjust seasonings, if needed.
- REFRIGERATE. Place bowl in refrigerator for a minimum of an hour.
- COOK. Fill a skillet with about 1 ½ inches of cooking oil. Choose a cooking oil with a high-smoke point, like grape-seed oil. Heat the oil slowly over medium heat. Meanwhile, form the falafel mixture into round balls to desired size. I generally make them a little larger than a ping-pong ball.
- TEST. Do a test with first falafel to make sure your oil is hot enough. It should take 1-2 minutes for each side. When the falafel ball is golden brown remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate covered with a paper towel to absorb extra oil. I cook about 6-8 balls at a time, depending on the skillet I am using.
- SERVE. I like to serve them hot in a pita with hummus, pickled red cabbage, onion, and pickle. More traditional options would include cucumber, tomato, onion, tahini, shredded cabbage, extra parsley. It's really up to you.
- CANNED CHICKPEAS. Do not substitute with canned chickpeas, they retain too much moisture and they will fall apart, in my experience. Use dried chickpeas instead.
- ADD ONS. I like to roll half the batch in sesame seeds before frying. This makes a crispier falafel and adds another dimension.
- STORAGE. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container for 2-3 days. They also freeze well, and I like to warm them up for a salad topping or a quick pita on the go.
- GREEN FALAFEL. Add 1/3 cup more of parsley and cilantro to make them greener.
Courses Lunch, dinner