Classic Homemade Falafel

Classic Homemade Falafel

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 75 mins
Soak Time: 8 hrs
Total: 9 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Yield: 12 falafels
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
379 Calories
27g Fat
28g Carbs
8g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 379
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 363mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 6mg 29%
Calcium 34mg 3%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 306mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Falafel (pronounced "fell-off-uhl"), sometimes spelled "felafel" or "felafil," is a deep-fried ball or patty that is made from either chickpeas or fava beans and spices. It is a vegetarian and vegan food and one of the most widely consumed and recognized foods of the Middle East. It's a very popular fast food around the world, and vendors sell it on the street corners in countries like Egypt, Syria, and Israel, where it's the national dish.

Falafel is a favorite among vegetarians with its crisp outside and tender inside with a mildly spiced flavor thanks to the garlic, parsley, and spices. The spices are a key aspect and can be personalized to taste. Make sure you leave enough time to soak the dried chickpeas overnight before mixing up your batter and frying.

As a main dish, falafel is often served as a sandwich, stuffed in pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes, and tahini. As an appetizer, it can be served on a salad or with hummus and tahini. It's also often served with hot sauce

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"The taste of the falafel was good and it's a good base for spicy tahini. Use a food processor as hand mashing will take time and effort to get the right consistency. The right amount of flour is essential, so the falafel holds together in the oil. Test-cook one or two pieces first." —Colleen Graham

Classic Homemade Falafel Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon coriander

  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • Pepper, to taste, optional

  • 4 tablespoons flour

  • Oil, for frying

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Falafel Recipe ingredients

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Place dried chickpeas in a bowl and cover with cold water. Allow to soak overnight.

    Chickpeas in a bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Drain the chickpeas and place them in a pot with fresh water. Bring to a boil.

    Drain the chickpeas and place them in a pot with fresh water

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Allow to boil for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat and let simmer on low for about 1 hour. Being careful not to overcook them. They should still be firm.

    chickpeas cooking in a pot

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Drain and allow to cool in the strainer for 15 minutes.

    drain chickpeas

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  6. Add 2 inches of oil to a heavy-bottomed large pot and heat to 350 F.

    oil in a pan

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  7. Combine the drained chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper (if using) in a medium bowl. Add the flour.

    Combine the drained chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper in a bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  8. Mash the chickpeas, mixing all of the ingredients together. Alternatively, you can combine the ingredients in a food processor. You want the result to be a thick paste.

    Falafel ingredients mashed together in a bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  9. Form the mixture into balls about the size of a ping pong ball. Slightly flatten.

    Formed falafel balls next to a bowl of falafel mixture

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  10. Fry the falafel balls for 5 to 7 minutes until golden brown. Drain. Serve hot.

    frying falafel balls in a pot of oil
    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Tips

  • The dried and cooked chickpeas can be replaced with a can of chickpeas. Skip the soaking and cooking if using canned beans. Make sure to rinse and drain, patting the beans dry with paper towels.
  • If the mixture isn't firm enough, add extra flour a little at a time.
  • If you need a binding agent, add one beaten egg.
  • Fry in batches, making sure that the oil returns to 350 F before frying the next one.

Is Chickpea Falafel Healthy?

Falafel is vegan and high in fiber thanks to the chickpeas. However, traditional falafel like this recipe is deep-fried, adding fat and calories. Serve falafel with fresh vegetables like cucumber, tomato, and lettuce, and radishes. Or try making baked falafel.

Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Chickpeas (garbanzo beans, bengal gram), mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt. USDA Agricultural Research Service: FoodData Central. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/497310/nutrients.