Falafel is one of my favorite Middle Eastern street food recipes. Chickpeas are combined with other savory ingredients and deep fried to perfection!
I've been on a Mediterranean food kick lately, and wanted to try making my own homemade falafel. To me, this recipe satisfies all of my vegan comfort food cravings. I especially love it when it's served with my homemade Tzatziki sauce.
What is a falafel made of?
Falafel ingredients always include chickpeas or fava beans or both. I decided to just use chickpeas because I love them so much.
Instead of using canned chickpeas like I do for all of my other favorite recipes, I decided to use dried chickpeas in my falafel.
The soaked chickpeas are then combined with red onion, parsley, galic, salt, cumin, pepper, and a little bit of flour to hold everything together.
How to make homemade falafel:
Once you've soaked and softened your chickpeas, you'll process them with the other ingredients in the food processor.
The goal is to not get the mixture so smooth that it turns into a paste, but you will need it ground up enough so that it holds it's shape when being fried.
To cook your falafel, you'll heat a generous amount of oil to 375 degrees F and cook a few at a time, flipping once.
You can definitely eat falafel plain, but in my opinion they absolutely need a good sauce.
- 1 pound dried garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
- 1 small red onion (chopped)
- 1/4 cup parsley (fresh, stems removed)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- oil for frying (Enough to have about an inch in your pan (I used avocado oil))
- The night before, add dried chickpeas to a large bowl and cover with water. Cover bowl and let them soak overnight. They should double in size. When you're ready to make your falafel, drain chickpeas.
- Add all ingredients except for oil to a large bowl and toss to combine. Working in small batches, process in food processor. You don't want to run them until everything is completely smooth, but it should be about as course as fine sand. Give it a stir and pick out any large chunks that weren't processed and get them ground up and added back to the mixture.
- Add mixture back to original bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- To cook, add at least an inch of oil to skillet and heat to 375 degrees F. To form the falafel balls, add a couple tablespoons of the mixture to the palm of your hand, form a ball, and slightly flatten the ball. The mixture doesn't hold together all that well, so just be gentle and steady with the pressure. Carefully drop into the oil. I prefer to cook just a few at a time so that the oil temperature can remain steady. Cook until they turn golden brown, flipping once (about 5 minutes total). Be sure the oil is at the correct temperature before adding the next batch. Transfer cooked falafel to a paper towel lined plate to drain.