Falafel, a classic Middle Eastern recipe, made with chickpeas. You can bake or fry the falafels, both are crispy on the outside, but fluffy on the inside.
Falafel is one of those foods that everybody love. It’s also so convenient for vegans, as it’s available in pretty much every single country. It has saved my life while travelling so many times!
My favorite way to enjoy it is with pita bread, homemade yogurt sauce (you’ll also find an oil-free vegan yogurt sauce on the blog) and cooked or raw veggies (I use what it’s in season or what I have on hand).
Falafel is traditionally eaten fried, but I prefer to bake it. It’s lighter and easier to digest, but it’s still so delicious.
Please use raw chickpeas to make this recipe. If you use canned chickpeas it won’t be the same, as your falafel will be mushy and will fall apart so easily. You just need to soak the chickpeas overnight (some people prefer to soak them for 24 hours, but I think it’s not necessary).
Flour is not a basic ingredient, but I feel the falafel has a better texture when I use it and it’s easier to form the balls/disks. If the dough is too wet, add more flour or put some flour on your hands before forming the balls/disks.
A way to make your falafel even more flavorful is to toast the spices (you should use them whole, not ground, though) and then grind them with a mortar or a grinder. I prefer to omit this step because I can save some time and effort, and falafel is also incredibly good.
These are the ingredients you’ll need to make this falafel recipe:
- Chickpeas or garbanzo beans – Please use raw chickpeas. If you use canned chickpeas, you’ll get mush falafels and they will fall apart easily.
- Parsley – You don’t have to use parsley and cilantro, you can use only one of them. However, I prefer to add both for a better flavor.
- Cumin powder.
- Salt – I always use Himalayan pink salt. Any type of salt is okay, though.
- Baking soda – It’s optional, but you’ll get softer and fluffier falafels if you use it.
- Ground black pepper – Fresh ground black pepper tastes amazing. However, I find store-bought more convenient and also easier to measure with a teaspoon.
- Ground coriander – This spice is optional. If you can’t find it, just omit it.
- Red pepper flakes – Feel free to use cayenne powder, fresh chilies, or anything you want to make your falafel spicy. This is an optional ingredient, so you can omit it if you’re not into spicy food.
- Flour – I used whole wheat flour, but any type of flour will do. I also love chickpea and oat flour.
how to make falafel
- Drain and wash the chickpeas, add them to a food processor or powerful blender with all the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
- Feel free to cook the falafel immediately, but it tastes better if you transfer the mixture to a large bowl and keep it covered in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF or 200ºC.
- Make 18 small disks or balls with your hands.
- Transfer them to a lined baking sheet and bake them for 30 minutes or until golden brown, flipping once at the halfway point. You could also fry them in a fryer or a skillet with oil until golden brown.
- Serve immediately or keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for about 5 to 7 days.
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- 1 cup dried chickpeas or garbanzo beans (180 g), soaked overnight
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley (15 g)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (15 g)
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda (optional)
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander (optional)
- Dash of red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 tbsp flour, any kind will do
- Wash and drain the chickpeas and add them to a food processor or a powerful blender with all the remaining ingredients. Blend until it looks like a coarse paste.
- You can cook the falafel immediately, but it tastes better if you transfer the mixture to a large bowl and keep it covered in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Make about 18 small disks or balls with your hands.
- If you’re going to bake your falafel disks or balls, preheat the oven to 400ºF or 200ºC and place them onto a lined baking sheet and bake them for about 30 minutes or until golden brown, flipping once at the halfway point for even cooking.
- If you’re going to fry your falafel disks or balls, heat some oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until it’s shimmering. Carefully transfer 4-5 falafel disks or balls to the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes per side, or until both sides are golden brown. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with all the remaining falafel disks or balls and add more oil if needed.
- Serve immediately with vegan yogurt sauce (or also oil-free vegan yogurt sauce) inside some pita bread or on a plate with roasted or raw veggies.
- Keep the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- I suggest you make this recipe with raw chickpeas and that you soak them in water overnight. You’ll just have to cook the chickpeas later.
- You can add all the spices and herbs you want to.
- Use any type of flour. Chickpea flour and oat flour work really well for this recipe.
- Flour isn’t essential, but it’ll give the falafel a better consistency and it won’t get stuck on your hands while making the balls or disks.
- If you don’t want to use flour, you can simply cover your hands with it so shaping the falafels is easier.
- You don’t need to add both parsley and cilantro; feel free to use only one of them.
- If you’re not into spicy food, omit the red pepper flakes.
- Nutritional info has been calculated for baked falafel.
- Serving Size: 1 falafel of 18
- Calories: 18
- Sugar: 0.2 g
- Sodium: 187 mg
- Fat: 0.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 3.2 g
- Fiber: 0.7 g
- Protein: 0.9 g