- Food: Crispy Falafel
- Writer: Nicolas Wilson
- Content-Type: Food Blog
Raise your hand if you’re a falafel aficionado! I dug through the archives to find my all-time favorite homemade falafel recipe. Falafel ca n be difficult to make at home, but this recipe is simple.
This healthy falafel dish has six reasons to enjoy it:
- On the outside, these falafels are golden brown and crunchy. The insides are soft, tasty, and bursting with fresh herbs.
- Because they’re baked rather than fried, they’re lower in fat than fried falafel. For days, your house will not smell like fried food. Winning!
- The falafel mixture comes together quickly once your chickpeas have been thoroughly soaked. The patties will come together much faster if you have someone to assist you in shaping them.
- These gluten-free and vegan falafels make a terrific party appetizer.
- These falafels freeze well, making them a great protein-packed option for future salads and pita sandwiches.
- On that point, you can easily quadruple this recipe! See the recipe notes for more information.
Are you persuaded yet? Let’s get to work on some falafel!
How to Make the Best Falafel at Home
- Instead of frying it, bake it. This is because frying necessitates a lot of scalding hot oil, which concerns me. I also don’t have a good vent above my oven to exhaust the fried food odor. Plus, in the baked version, you can use a reasonable amount of heart-healthy olive oil.
- Apply olive oil to a rimmed baking sheet. You obtain a fried effect in the oven this way, and you don’t have to brush the individual falafels with olive oil. Winning!
- Instead of canned chickpeas, use dried chickpeas. Falafel cannot be made with canned chickpeas. They’re dripping wet. You’ll wind up with sad falafel pancakes if you use canned chickpeas instead of dry and soaked chickpeas. Some recipes include flour to compensate for the moisture, but this drastically dulls the flavor and makes the texture more doughy.
- Soak the dried chickpeas for four hours at least. If your chickpeas aren’t softened enough, you’ll end up with unappealingly rough chickpea chunks in your falafel. There is simply no way around this.
- Pick your dry chickpeas carefully. Dried chickpeas should be purchased from a store with a high turnover rate, as aged chickpeas take longer to soften. If you have a choice, use the smallest chickpeas because they will soften the quickest.
Serving Suggestions for Falafel
Serve falafel as an appetizer, a wrap for a pita sandwich, or a protein-rich salad topping. Any of the following items pair well with falafel:
- Warm or toasted pita bread (rip it up for pita “croutons”)
- Greens that are still fresh (such as spring greens or chopped romaine)
- Tomatoes, sliced,
- Bell peppers, cut into strips
- Cucumber slices pitted and sliced Kalamata olives
- Thinly sliced raw red onion or quick-pickled onions
- Crumbled feta cheese
- Sauce: Something creamy, such as tzatziki, hummus, or tahini sauce, and perhaps a spicy sauce, such as zhoug or shatta.
Here’s a recipe for tahini dressing that goes wonderfully with falafel:
- a quarter cup of tahini
- 1 small lemon, zest, and juice
- 1 tablespoon miso (white)
- 2 squeezed garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- a pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1/3 cup liquid
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small food processor and process until smooth. You can alternatively mix the ingredients together by hand in a small bowl; however, the fresh herbs and zest will need to be chopped finer than if you used a food processor.
|Time to Prepare: 20 minutes
30 minutes to prepare
Time spent: 50 minutes
Serves: 12 falafels per batch
This recipe for handmade falafel is incredibly delicious and crunchy! Allow at least 4 hours for the chickpeas to soak, preferably overnight.
The falafel mixture can then be made quickly in a food processor. This recipe makes 12 to 13 falafels (see notes on how to double).
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup dried (uncooked/raw) chickpeas, rinsed, picked over and soaked for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours in the refrigerator
- ½ cup roughly chopped red onion (about ½ small red onion)
- ½ cup packed fresh parsley (mostly leaves but small stems are ok)
- 4 cloves garlic, quartered
- ½ cup packed fresh cilantro (mostly leaves but small stems are ok)
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon (about 25 twists) freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit with an oven rack in the middle position. 14 cup olive oil, poured into a large, rimmed baking sheet, and turned until evenly coated.
- Combine the chickpeas, onion, parsley, cilantro, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a food processor. Process for 1 minute, or until smooth.
- Scoop out roughly 2 tablespoons of the mixture at a time with your hands. Make small patties out of the falafel, about 2 inches wide and 12 inches thick. Place one falafel on top of the other in your oiled pan.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the falafels are deeply brown on both sides, gently flipping halfway through baking. These falafels can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days or frozen for months.
- MAKE-AHEAD OPTION: I haven’t tried this, but according to the original recipe, uncooked falafel patties can be refrigerated on a parchment-lined baking sheet for up to 2 hours before baking, wrapped firmly in plastic wrap.
- TO DOUBLE THIS RECIPE, FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat the oven by placing two oven racks near the center. All of the ingredients should be doubled. You can blend all of the ingredients at once if you have a large food processor (about 11+ cup capacity). When you turn the falafel halfway through baking, switch the baking sheets’ locations (top to bottom, bottom to top).