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Easy falafel recipe

Easy falafel recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Starters
  • Meze
  • Falafel

A really quick and easy falafel recipe - you will probably have all the ingredients in your cupboards already! Serve with a spicy mayo, or tzatziki.

5 people made this

IngredientsServes: 5

  • 1 (400g) tin chickpeas, drained
  • 30g panko breadcrumbs, or as needed
  • 40g chopped onion
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 30g panko breadcrumbs, or as needed
  • 225ml olive oil for frying, or as needed

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:15min ›Ready in:30min

  1. Place chickpeas, 30g panko breadcrumbs, onion, 4 tablespoons oil, egg, parsley, curry powder, garlic powder, lemon juice and black pepper in a food processor or blender. Puree until coarse crumbs form. Blend more panko breadcrumbs into mixture if it is too moist.
  2. Roll mixture into balls about the size of a golf ball; place on a plate.
  3. Press into patties and coat in panko breadcrumbs.
  4. Heat about 2cm olive oil in a deep frying pan over medium heat.
  5. Fry falafel until crispy, about 3 minutes on each side.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(46)

Reviews in English (35)

by Christina

These were different from any falafel that I have ever had, and I LOVED them! The curry powder gave these wonderful flavor. The insides were a beautiful bright pretty. Almost too pretty to eat. Almost. Loved the crunch of the panko. These could've used a bit more salt, IMO, but that would be my only change next time. Served w/ 'Roasted Garlic Tzatziki', also from this site~YUM! Will be making these again! Thanks for sharing.-05 Apr 2012

by Becky

These are really good. I skip the egg to make it vegan. QUICK NOTE: I've been seeing alot of reviews where people are stating theirs fell apart or turned to mush. You may be using too much oil, or your oil is not hot enough. When a bread crumb "dances" ON the oil, it should be a good temp. Don't crowd pan. Don't move or turn food until ready. Fry in small batches, even if your pan will hold more. And allow the oil temp to come back up in between batches. When done, set balls on cooling rack, not paper towels.-29 Jul 2014

by Susan Irlapati

The curry gave it great taste but 1/4 cup olive oil made it really runny. I had to keep adding more and more bread crumbs so that my patties would stay together. The recipe also did not call for any salt. I added one teaspoon to mine.I will make this again but with those changes.-08 May 2012

Easy Falafel Recipe

An Easy Falafel Recipe that makes fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside fried chickpea balls. Made from a homemade dried chickpea mixture with fresh herbs, spices, and garlic. It's a wonderful family friendly recipe for a healthy meatless meal!

Whenever I want to eat vegetarian, but don't want to feel like I'm eating vegetarian, I make this falafel recipe.

Even though it's fried (in olive or avocado oil), it's still overall a pretty healthy meal.

Chickpeas are loaded with protein and fiber, plus lots of extras like B vitamins, iron, magnesium, folate, and phosphorus.

For an even healthier option, skip the pita and top a great big veggie salad with the falafel and a little tahini.

Why does falafel fall apart when cooking?

Traditionally falafel does not have any binder to hold it together. Then when exposed to moving hot oil and the steam coming out, it can fall apart.

After learning how to fry falafel successfully, I got the bright idea to make a burger-sized patty. When I was done frying the regular-sized falafel, I eased my burger patty into the oil. After a few seconds, it started to bubble, and things were looking good. Then I watched as it just broke apart into lots of tiny pieces.

The following is a list of tips to keep your falafel from falling apart during the first part of the cooking process. The patties need to hold together until a crust is formed on the outside. As soon as you get a crust, your safe from making tiny crunchy bits. (not that tiny crunchy bits are a bad thing)

Your falafel is too large. Start making them smaller. They will quickly form a crust and hold together. If they are too big, the inside's weight will break your crust as it forms—thumbs up for a falafel scoop.

Start with dry ingredients. Before adding your ingredients to the food processor, they should be dry. Definitely wash your parsley and or cilantro. But then dry them between paper towels and let them air dry a bit before using. After soaking your chickpeas, drain them in a colander and then spread them out to air dry.

Under or over-processing your ingredients. If ingredients are still in big chunks, they will fall apart.

Using canned chickpeas. Canned chickpeas have been cooked and will act completely different than raw chickpeas. If you want to use canned chickpeas, you will need to use something as a binder.

The vegetable to chickpea ratio is wrong. Vegetables like parsley and onion are necessary to flavor the falafel and keep them moist. But they contain water that is released during the cooking process. When this is released, it causes a violent reaction that can break up your falafel. (the bubbles you see when frying are from this steam release). When the vegetables release steam, they also shrink, and this creates air gaps.

Oil temperature. If your oil is cold, they will soak up lots of oil, and then when the oil gets hot, they will break apart. Shoot for 350F. If your oil is too hot, you will quickly make lots of steam, and they will break apart.

Your falafels were not pressed tight (but not too tight). Or you formed them ahead of time. As you form them, ease them into 350F oil. If you make them ahead of time, the excess handling will break them apart. This works best as a two-person team. Teamwork is the key to success.

Making falafel is a team sport, one person forming the falafel and one cooking them. Make the falafel carefully ease into the oil. Start making another one. When it just starts to brown, the other person flips it over. After a few seconds on the other side, then remove them and place them on a rack so that excess oil can drip off. This way, you can fry several at a time.

If you try and do it yourself, you will constantly go back and forth between shaping and frying. They are small, so they cook quickly. It's hard to keep up.

When you remove them from the oil, place them on a rack to cool and let the oil drip off.

I like to spread a little hummus inside a pita pocket, add my falafel and veggies with tahini sauce on the side. Another great way to serve falafel is on a salad. Experiment and find the best way that you like them.

Can you reheat falafel? The answer is yes, you can. You can microwave them for a few seconds or reheat them in the oven. But the best way to reheat falafel is to fry them again for a few seconds. For this, bring your oil back up to temperature and fry them for a few seconds.

Falafel Serving Suggestions

Serve falafel as an appetizer, wrap it into a pita sandwich, or add it to salad for a protein-rich topping. Falafel goes great with any of the following ingredients:

  • Pita bread, warmed or toasted (tear it up for pita “croutons”)
  • Fresh greens (such as spring greens or chopped romaine)
  • Tomatoes, sliced
  • Bell peppers, cut into strips
  • Cucumber, thinly sliced
  • Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • Raw red onion, thinly sliced, or quick-pickled onions
  • Feta cheese, crumbled
  • Sauce: Something creamy like tzatziki, hummus, or tahini sauce, and maybe a spicy sauce like zhoug or shatta, too

Here’s a tahini dressing recipe that goes great with this falafel, too:

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • Zest and juice of 1 small lemon
  • 1 tablespoon white miso
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1/3 cup water

In a small food processor, combine all of the ingredients and blend well. You can also whisk the ingredients together by hand in a small bowl, just note that you’ll need to chop the fresh herbs and zest more finely than you would if you were using a food processor.

Please let me know how you like these falafel in the comments! I hope you love them as much as I do. ♥

To make Falafel

  1. Place drained chickpeas in a food processor with onion and garlic. Gently pulse for about 30 seconds until the chickpeas are mostly smooth.
  2. Add lemon juice, parsley, coriander, nutritional yeast, paprika, cumin, ground coriander, salt and pepper. Blitz again until combined and then stir in the flour and baking soda.
  3. Take a tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a ball or form into patties. Repeat with remaining mixture.
  4. Pan fry, bake or air fry falafel.

How to make falafel curry

The falafel curry starts with a super simple curry sauce. Cook off some sliced onions with garlic, chilli and ginger (the smell in your house will already be amaaaazing by this point).

Then, add a couple of ground spices (nothing fancy, just a couple of things that you can find in any supermarket), some tinned tomatoes, and a can of coconut milk. I also added a big handful of fresh spinach.

That&rsquos your curry sauce done!

Just let it simmer away for a while so the flavours can develop, and it becomes beautifully rich and silky, with a deep orange colour.

How to serve Falafels

The thought of having a whole bowl of freshly cooked falafels to dunk into sauce and pop straight into my mouth is certainly appealing – though not the most nutritious meal option!!

So to serve Falafels as a meal, I like to either make falafel plates or wraps using pita bread, or falafel rolls using Lebanese or other large flatbreads (like the Falafel rolls sold at Kebab shops in Australia).

In all 3 of these options, I use: tabbouleh and/or shredded iceberg lettuce, tomato and onion slices and drizzle the Falafels with Tahini Sauce. Hummus also makes an appearance 99% of the time – a very big dollop of it!

Falafels also make a terrific gluten free meal by making falafel plates using a flavoured rice instead of bread – such as Mejadra (Middle Eastern Lentil Rice).

Tips for Easy Vegan Falafel

  • Make sure you rinse and drain your chickpeas well before using. They don’t need to be completely dry but too much liquid can make the falafel mushy.
  • I wouldn’t try to substitute dried parsley for the fresh parsley but if you absolutely have to, add 1 tablespoon of dried parsley.
  • You can use any neutral oil when pan frying the falafel. It’s fine to use olive oil since the heat is relatively low. (Olive oil has a low smoke point.) But you could also use avocado oil or canola oil, depending on what you have available. I also like to use a non-stick pan which cuts down on the amount of oil I need.

I love that this falafel can be made in a food processor. It comes together so quickly and easily!

How to Make This Recipe

This Falafel recipe takes a little planning. For one thing, you'll have to soak the beans overnight. Yes, it takes a little more effort, but the results are well worth it!

1. Add dry chickpeas to a large bowl that will allow room for expansion. Cover with plenty of water so that the chickpeas will still be fully immersed when they soften and expand. Soak the chickpeas overnight.

2. When they're ready, drain chickpeas and add to a food processor. Depending on your food processor's capacity, you might have to do this in two or three batches.

3. Pulse until the garbanzo beans are ground, then transfer to a large bowl.

4. Add the onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, and serrano to the food processor and pulse until finely ground.

5. Add the herb mixture to the garbanzo beans and mix until thoroughly combined.

6. Mix the spices and add to the garbanzo and herb mix, along with the flour. Knead with your hands until all the ingredients are combined.

7. Test to see if the mixture holds together by pressing 1 tablespoon of the mixture into a small disc or ball. You may need to run it through the food processor one more time if it's too coarse.

8. If the mixture still does not hold together, add additional flour, one tablespoon a time until it does.

How to Cook Falafel

9. Fry one falafel in hot oil (375-degree-F) until brown and crisp on both sides. This should take approximately one to two minutes. Drain on paper towels.

10. Taste the falafel to see if any adjustments need to be made to the seasoning.

11. If no adjustments are necessary, form the remaining falafel. Fry as many as you will be serving and freeze the rest for another time.

See Cook's Tips for freezing instructions.

What to Serve With and How to Serve Falafel

There are so many ways to serve falafel. Here are some of our favorite ways:

As an appetizer with your favorite dipping sauce. We cannot recommend our dreamy (vegan) tahini sauce enough for dipping your falafel into. This creamy tzatziki (a cucumber yogurt dip) would also be amazing.

Add falafel to or alongside salads. I love lots of crunch in my salads and especially love shredded purple cabbage, cucumbers, and tomato as a base for falafel. This chopped tomato, cucumber, and onion salad is also a favorite (I just spoon it on top of everything).

Make a falafel sandwich. You can add just about anything, but our favorite falafel sandwiches start with pita bread, a spoonful of hummus, lettuce or cabbage, tomato, cucumber, and a drizzle of tahini or garlic tahini sauce.

Make a falafel platter. Grab the largest plate you own and pile on falafel, creamy hummus (here’s our homemade hummus and a roasted red pepper hummus), baba ganoush (a roasted eggplant dip), lots of veggies like carrots, cabbage, and cucumbers, olives, as well as some sauces like tahini or tzatziki.