I had forgotten how much I love falafel because I hadn’t had good falafel in so long. Turns out, they are super easy to make! This recipe is super customizable and forgiving. The only thing crucial to this recipe and any other falafel recipe that is even worth trying is using dried chickpeas. Under no circumstances can you use canned chickpeas and make good falafel or even bad falafel for that matter. Besides, using dried chickpeas makes any chickpea dish 500x better, and it’s cheaper. Other than the chickpea business, which means you have to prep at least 12 hours in advanced, everything else is, as always, up to you and your tastes.
Makes 10-12 falafel
1 cup dried chickpeas
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1-2 cups of fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, mint) – choose herbs you like
1-2 tsp cumin powder
1-2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp chili powder (optional)
1 tsp baking soda
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
1-2 tbsp chickpea flour (optional)
vegetable oil for frying
yogurt tahini sauce:
1/2 cup yogurt
1-2 tbsp tahini
1/2 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
lemon juice, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
hot sauce or chili powder, to taste (optional)
- Soak 1 cup of chickpeas for 12-24 hours in cold water (in the fridge if it’s warm). The chickpeas will at least double in size so make sure there is enough water.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add to a food processor with the rest of the ingredients except the chickpea flour.
- Pulse until the the mixture is finely processed and holds together when pinched.
- Let the mixture sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. You can also leave the mixture in the fridge overnight and fry the next day.
- While the falafel mixture is in the fridge, make the sauce by combining all the ingredients together. Taste and adjust to your taste. Feel free to add herbs and spices to the sauce.
- Try forming patties or balls. If you find that the mixture doesn’t hold together, add the chickpea flour and mix well before making patties or balls.
- Make evenly sized balls, or flat patties (works better if you don’t want to deep fry).
- Fry the falafel in batches until deep brown all over. Use medium heat so the falafel cook all the way through and brown evenly. This might take 4-5 minutes balls or 2-3 minutes per side for flat patties.
- Serve immediately with the yogurt tahini sauce
Taste the mixture before frying so you can adjust for salt and other spices. You can also fry a tester and then adjust the seasoning.
If you are new to frying, fry one at a time and experiment. If you find that your falafel are well browned but not cooked on the inside, lower the heat and fry longer.
If you don’t add chickpea flour (I never do), you might find the patties are a bit fragile but once one side it browned, they hold together perfectly.