falafelinlove’s Falafel Recipe!!

Today I feel like celebrating! I finally cracked the falafel code! After attempt after attempt and huge kitchen messes with chickpeas all over the place, I finally found the authentic falafel recipe that is as good as a restaurant!

I never thought I’d get here, but with a little patience, perseverance, and way TOO many chickpeas, I developed a recipe for some really awesome falafels.

My recipe uses canned chickpeas. Now, I know that many people say that it is necessary to use dried chickpeas that are soaked overnight, but I wanted to develop a recipe that is quicker and easier for everyday use because most people probably have canned chickpeas on hand at any given time. The key for me was to use a firmer canned chickpea and to drain and dry them really well. I’ve tried a couple of canned chickpea varieties and I’ve found that Goya brand has a little bit more firmness in it even in canned form, and this helps to hold the falafels together when you cook them. After rinsing, I drain them and pat well with a paper towel to remove excess water.

falafels 3
Freshly made falafel, the stuff of dreams!

The rest of my ingredients are pretty standard falafel ingredients; cumin, coriander, onion, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper. The key to making great falafels is also in how much flour you add to the batter. Knowing when the falafel batter is too wet and won’t stay together is crucial to not making a green gooey mess in your kitchen. So I recommend making a “test” falafel in the saute pan or deep fryer to see how your falafel will hold its shape when cooked. Add a little flour at a time until you are easily able to scoop and form falafel balls.

My falafels were pan fried, as I am not a fan of deep frying anything when I cook at home. Deep fried falafels are a treat I reserve for restaurants in the name of “falafel research” πŸ˜‰ Mine turned out soft on the inside, crispy on the outside, and my husband said they “melted in my mouth”. Win! That’s what a falafel enthusiast wants to hear. If you prefer a little more texture inside the falafel, I’d suggest not pulsing the chickpeas down to a paste in the food processor. However, falafels that are smooth inside stay softer in the fridge and don’t get too hard and dry after a few hours or days.

Some falafel recipes, such as Egyptian tamiya, call for the use of all or some fava beans to replace of chickpeas. I haven’t tried this yet but I am planning to develop a falafel recipe using fava beans soon. I am also planning to post a recipe using dried and soaked chickpeas for those who do not like using canned foods. I hope you enjoy these falafels! Stay tuned for more falafel goodness to come!!

Makes 25-30 falafel balls depending on how big you form them

β€’ Two 15 oz. can chickpeas (equivalent to about 1 cup dried chickpeas)
β€’ 3-4 medium cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
β€’ 1.5 tsp. ground coriander
β€’ 2.5 tsp. ground cumin
β€’ 1 tsp. baking powder
β€’ 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more if you like things spicy)
β€’ 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
β€’ 1 tsp. salt
β€’ Β½ tsp. ground black pepper
β€’ 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
β€’ 2 packed cups roughly chopped fresh parsley
β€’ Β½ large white onion about 6 cm diameter (or 1 whole small onion), roughly chopped
β€’ 5-6 tbsp. all-purpose flour (or more as needed, up to about Β½ cup)
β€’ Optional: 2-3 tsp. sesame seeds

good falafel 2
mmmmm…yummy pan-fried falafels!

Directions:
1. Combine salt, ground black pepper, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin, nutmeg, and coriander in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.
2. Drain 2 cans of chickpeas in a colander under water. Rinse with water and dry chickpeas with a paper towel. Add in small batches in the food processor and pulse to a smooth paste (I have a small food processor, so this took me a few batches).
3. When chickpeas are finely pulsed in the food processor to paste form (not too mushy), leave about ΒΌ cup chickpea paste in bowl of food processor and remove remaining chickpea paste and place in a large bowl and set aside.
4. Add spice mixture to the food processor and pulse small amount of chickpea paste and spice mixture until thoroughly combined together. Remove this mixture from food processor and add it to the rest of the chickpea paste that was set aside in a bowl. Thoroughly mix all of the chickpea paste and spices together until uniform.
5. Add roughly chopped parsley to the food processor and pulse until parsley is very finely chopped into tiny leaf pieces. Add parsley to the chickpea mixture in the bowl and set aside.
6. Add chopped garlic and white onion to the bowl of a food processor. Chop mixture in food processor until vegetables are in very fine mince. Add 3 tbsp. flour to the food processor with vegetables and process mixture until all ingredients are well combined and fluffy.
7. In a large bowl, combine garlic/onion mixture with chickpea/spices/parsley mixture and mix everything thoroughly, evenly distributing parsley and vegetable mixture with chickpea paste. Don’t be afraid to use your hands! Add in 1 tsp. of baking powder and mix everything thoroughly again. Add additional flour as needed, until mixture reaches smooth consistency that enables you to form firm patties, not too wet or sticky but also not too dry and crumbly. Optional: add in 2-3 tsp. sesame seeds and distribute throughout falafel batter. Let falafel mixture sit for 20-30 minutes in the refrigerator.

falafels 2
Falafel batter ready to be refrigerated.

Roll falafel into balls or patties. Place them on a greased baking sheet for baking or on a plate if frying.

falafels 1
Falafel balls ready for baking/frying.

8. Cooking: I pan-fried my falafels in about 2-3 tbsp. light olive oil in batches of four at a time. You can go the traditional route and deep fry them in oil as well. For the healthiest option, bake falafels at 375Β°F for about 25 minutes, until golden-brown on bottom and firm on the outside, but not burned.

falafels baked
Healthy baked falafels. Let’s face it, nothing beats the fried version but for those days when you feel like being extra healthy, these baked falafels will satisfy your falafel craving!
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13 thoughts on “falafelinlove’s Falafel Recipe!!

  1. Wow your recipe sounds great and delicious just by the way you talk about it πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to try it, as I have been looking for a good recipe for a long time too, and got tired of being unsuccessful… I just come back from a trip to Israel and feel very motivated again for falafel trials !!! Thanks for all the tips, I think it went wrong for me repeatedly because I didn’t dry enough the chickpeas…

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    1. Thanks cookingtrips ! Yeah I had to play around with the recipe a lot to get it right and drying the chickpeas and also the parsley made a big difference. I liked using the canned chickpeas, but since many recipes call for dried chickpeas or dried fava beans, I have recently developed a recipe using dried fava beans as well. I think I will post it soon! I am also planning to try using dried chickpeas and then post that recipe as well. In the meantime, if you try this recipe, let me know how it works out πŸ™‚
      Also, I’m envious of your trip to Israel! I’d love to go there someday! I bet they have really amazing food, especially the falafels πŸ˜€

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      1. Oh, like you, I only use the canned chickpeas (so far). For sure i’ll let u know how your recipe works out in my kitchen ! i must admit i’m surprised when u’re saying u’ve never been (yet) to Israel, because you actually sound like a Falafel Master and I would have bet you were used to going there from time to time, to get the essence of falafels from its local land, hahaha! It’s also an interesting info though, because it shows how you’ve been able to figure out the perfect taste, by thoroughly going again and again through all the steps,in order to master the art of falafel. It encourages me on a personal path, because I am developing a blog section about World Food related to my blog’s main theme : Travelling on a Plate, which means to me that “If you can’t get on a plane, get the feeling of the trip on your plate !”. In other words, if u can’t travel to a certain destination, cook a national dish from the place to try to feel the country through its daily food. I think somehow you’ve partly seen Israel with your falafel, and i wish you go there someday then !

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  2. Thanks! πŸ˜€ I definitely try to systematically go through the steps and treat it almost like scientific research. I change one variable at a time so that I know which ingredients have a certain affect on taste and texture. And I’ve eaten a lot of different types of falafels so I know what to look for in taste I suppose. I’ve never been anywhere in the middle east but the best part of visiting NYC for me is that the street food is very authentic! There are a lot of falafel vendors and international restaurants owned by people from that country so I think its quite easy to feel like you’re eating something authentic even if you don’t leave the country haha.
    That’s a really cool blog idea. I definitely look forward to checking out your World Food section! I really like trying different ethnic foods too. I agree, it gives you a better understanding of the culture of a country when you try their food. Haha, maybe I visited Israel in my dreams and made falafel :D.

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  3. A scientific approach indeed! You’re right about NYC restaurants and food authenticity, your city is world famous for that! lol. I love NYC for so many aspects, I’m envious that you live there and can enjoy such a variety of cultures, in food or other artsy talents actually. I wish I could go there more often (maybe someday live there too!). In the meantime, I just talk a lot (and write a bit) about New York city, same way as I try different ethnic foods, it’s all about getting the feeling of being in a city/country you’re not actually in. My World Food section is really starting, I hope i’ll fill it soon enough with more interesting dishes. About falafel now, have u seen my post tonight ? Dedicated to you and your recipe with links to your blog !!! I hope you’re ok with that…?!

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  4. Thank you, of course I’m okay with that, that’s awesome! I just saw your new falafel post! It looks great. Thanks for giving my recipe a try, I hope you liked them πŸ˜€
    I just tested a dried chickpea recipe myself and I really liked the result so the falafel recipe collection is continuing to grow between the two of us πŸ˜€
    I am actually a couple of hours from NYC so sometmes we drive there on a weekend or holiday. It’s a nice distance because we’re away from the crowds and chaos but can go there for a quick visit as often as we like. Yeah the ethnic foods are probably the best part about NYC, there are so many to try.

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