Homemade Crispy Falafel Recipe

Homemade Crispy Falafel Recipe

Over the last years, after several unsuccessful attempts to cook falafel at home and also after some very unhappy experiences in the Arabic restaurants in Bucharest - I gave up the idea. I said it was probably not my cup of tea and that was that. All the chickpea balls I've tried were hard to swallow, too dry or with a funny taste.

That was until I tasted falafel last summer in Egypt, exemplary cooked. I even noticed the texture of the chickpea paste and how the chef quickly shaped them and fried them in oil. I never imagined that these chickpea balls, or falafel, could taste so good, be crispy on the outside, but fluffy and fragrant on the inside. So, I definitely recommend them, as long as you follow all the directions for a maximum of tastiness and a special result. Falafel should be served in Homemade Pita Bread - with yogurt, tahini sauce, fresh or cooked vegetables. Another option would be falafel on a plate, with the same ingredients, but not inside the pita.

The biggest challenge and inconvenience is to grind as finely as possible the soaked raw chickpeas and the herbs. I used the food processor with the S-blade attachment, then the meat grinder, and the hand blender too, at the end. If you leave the chickpea paste too coarse, you will feel the taste of raw chickpeas, which is not very annoying, but still, we want a finer texture.

The good part is that you can prepare more chickpea paste, then freeze some of it. Whenever you have a craving, you don't need to do the whole work again, the soaking, the mashing etc.

And, because falafel balls are recommended to be served hot, immediately after cooking, it's better not to fry a large amount of them, just as much as you need for a meal. We had a few left, we reheated them in the pan or in the microwave - they were good, but they lost a little of their crispiness.


Dried chickpeas
500 g
can combined with 50% Fava/Foul beans
Baking soda
3 tsp
1 piece
Garlic cloves
3 pieces
Fresh parsley
3 bunches
you can combine parsley with green coriander, if you find any
Baharat - arabic 7 spice mix
1 tsp
Ground coriander
1 tsp
Sweet paprika
1 tsp
0.5 tsp
Ground black pepper
0.5 tsp
1 tbsp
to taste
White flour
2 tbsp
Vegetable oil
1 l
use an oil suitable for frying - I normally use peanut oil
Olive oil
100 ml
1 tbsp
optional, for the tahini sauce
0.5 pieces
optional, for the tahini sauce

Step by step

Step 1

First of all, on the evening before the day you cook falafel, soak the chickpeas - pour over a large amount of water and add 2 teaspoons of baking soda.

Leave like this overnight, or for about 12 hours.

Homemade Crispy Falafel Recipe - Step 1
Step 2

On the next day, drain all the liquid and rinse the chickpeas well 2-3 times.

Homemade Crispy Falafel Recipe - Step 2
Step 3

Now comes the most important part, finely chopping the chickpeas.

First, I place the chickpea in the food processor with the S blade attached, in 2 rounds, so that the blades don't get stuck.

Homemade Crispy Falafel Recipe - Step 3
Step 4

That's how it came out - still quite coarse and dry. I moved it to a large bowl and set aside.

Homemade Crispy Falafel Recipe - Step 4
Step 5

Then I placed the parsley, coriander, onion and garlic in the food processor.

I chopped them the  best I could.

Homemade Crispy Falafel Recipe - Step 5
Step 6

I added the chopped herbs to the chickpeas in the bowl and mixed with a spatula.

Homemade Crispy Falafel Recipe - Step 6
Step 7

Then I transferred half of the amount of chickpeas back in the food processor. I pulsed at maximum speed, adding about 50ml of olive oil, little by little. This makes the mixture softer and less dry.

Homemade Crispy Falafel Recipe - Step 7
Step 8

This is what my food processor managed to do. Unfortunately, it's not very smooth, and we can still notice some big pieces of onion and herbs here and there.

Homemade Crispy Falafel Recipe - Step 8
Step 9

So, I had to pass everything through the meat grinder.

This is for the chickpea paste to be as smooth as possible, green and not too coarse.

After the mincer, next time I will use the hand blender as well, for an extra fine texture.

But you can avoid all these blender maneuvers, if you have a big and good food processor, which will make fine paste from the first time.

Homemade Crispy Falafel Recipe - Step 9
Step 10

Now add to the chickpea paste - 1 teaspoon of 7 spice mix, 1 teaspoon ground dried coriander, 1 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika, 0.5 teaspoon ground cumin, 0.5 teaspoon ground black pepper and 1 tablespoon salt.

Mix everything well, adjust the salt to your taste.

Homemade Crispy Falafel Recipe - Step 10
Step 11

At the end, add here 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of flour.

Mix everything well, the final mixture must be soft and fine (not runny). If it's drier and too dense, add a little more olive oil and mix.

Homemade Crispy Falafel Recipe - Step 11
Step 12

Cover the bowl with a lid or cling and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

Homemade Crispy Falafel Recipe - Step 12
Step 13

After this time, I recommend storing some of the chickpea paste in the freezer, for another batch of falafel (if you don't have a meal with many guests and don't need to cook a lot of balls). It preserves its texture and taste perfectly after thawing.


Homemade Crispy Falafel Recipe - Step 13
Step 14

Heat well the oil in a deep saucepan or pan. Make sure the oil is very hot, so that the balls will fry quickly and won't absorb too much of it.

Then quickly shape the balls - fill one tablespoon with the chickpea paste.

Homemade Crispy Falafel Recipe - Step 14
Step 15

Put it in your palm and press lightly with your fingers to form a ball. The mixture is soft, so you shouldn't expect perfect and smooth balls, like the play-doh ones.

The Arabian cook, whom I observed in Egypt, held them in his palm for only 1 second, so they had more like a roundish shape.

Homemade Crispy Falafel Recipe - Step 15
Step 16

As you shape the balls, drop them immediately in hot oil and let them until they begin to rise to the surface, then you can use a spatula to turn from side to side.

Homemade Crispy Falafel Recipe - Step 16
Step 17

You need to be quick, cook the balls over high heat, turn with a spatula from side to side periodically.

I didn't bother to make them all perfectly round, but after frying you'll notice they will become even and slightly swollen. I was really afraid they would fall apart, as the paste was rather soft.

Homemade Crispy Falafel Recipe - Step 17
Step 18

When they are well browned, remove from the oil with a spatula and place on a plate lined with paper towel, to absorb the excess oil.

Then shape and fry one more batch, until you finish the chickpea paste.

Homemade Crispy Falafel Recipe - Step 18
Step 19

To serve them, I quickly baked some slices of potatoes with spices, find the recipe here.

You can also bake/fry slices of peppers, zucchini, eggplant.

Homemade Crispy Falafel Recipe - Step 19
Step 20

Then, you definitely must make a salad, with whatever you like and with the vegetables finely chopped.

Homemade Crispy Falafel Recipe - Step 20
Step 21

If you want a more authentic taste, I recommend making a quick tahini sauce - just mix together, in a small bowl, 1-3 tablespoons of tahini paste (mine is homemade), 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons water and a little salt to taste.

This can be replaced with plain Greek yogurt, if you don't have time or you don't have good tahini paste at hand.

Homemade Crispy Falafel Recipe - Step 21
Step 22

If you made or bought Arabic Pita Bread (my recipe is here), take half of the bread and, in its pocket, place baked potatoes/vegetables, tahini sauce or yogurt, vegetable salad and the chickpea balls (falafel) among all these.

Enjoy with great appetite 1-2-3 or more portions. It's delicious and the recipe can be easily adapted for vegetarians or for Lent.

Homemade Crispy Falafel Recipe - Step 22
Step 23

If you don't have pita breads, serve falafel on a plate, with any salad or vegetable you prefer, sauce and even bread, if you need.

By the way, here are the falafel balls prepared from the thawed chickpea paste.


Homemade Crispy Falafel Recipe - Step 23
Quantity: 1 kg (in total about 50 meatballs)
Prep time: 180 min
Difficulty: intermediate
Ready in: 800 min
Publish date:

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