Homemade Falafel? Yes, please! Delicious balls of chickpea and herb goodness is how we describe this easy homemade falafel recipe. Vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and naturally gluten-free, these falafels are perfect for summertime picnics in warm pitas, sandwiches, wraps, salads and even alongside other tasty mediterranean treats in a Mezze platter. Whatever your favourite way to enjoy falafel, this recipe will most certainly be the best falafel you’ve ever tasted!
What is Falafel?
Falafel is a classic Middle Eastern recipe, traditionally made from ground chickpeas, herbs and spices. It is usually formed into small balls or patties and deep fried for a pleasant texture, in which it is crispy on the outside and warm and soft on the inside. Often enjoyed in wraps, sandwiches, salads or alongside warm pita as part of a mezze platter, this vegetarian dish is simple and made with everyday ingredients that you will find in your cupboard.
What You Need To Make Homemade Falafel:
Great ingredients make great falafel. Traditional falafel is made from a few simple everyday ingredients. Here’s what you will need for this recipe:
- Chickpeas: It is recommended that you only use dried chickpeas that are soaked overnight. Canned chickpeas don’t quite have the right texture and your falafel recipe will end up too soft.
- Fresh Herbs: Parsley and cilantro are two essential herbs for falafels. They add all the flavour and will make the inside a bright green colour.
- Garlic & Onion: Fresh garlic cloves and yellow onion will enhance the flavour of this dish.
- Spices: The spices that are most commonly used to make falafel are chili powder and cumin. Don’t forget the salt and pepper!
- Flour: Flour helps bind the chickpea mixture together and helps the falafel hold its shape while it is being fried.
- Baking Soda: Baking soda is the key ingredient to ensure that the falafel is light and fluffy on the inside.
- Vegetable Oil: Traditional falafel is deep fried in oil. Choose whichever oil you prefer, whether it’s canola, olive or avocado oil, the falafel will be sure to turn out great!
How to Make Falafel:
Ready to make the best falafel you’ve ever tasted? Here’s how to do it:
- Soak the Chickpeas. The night before, soak your dried chickpeas in water. Make sure the water covers the chickpeas by about 2-3 inches as they expand while soaking. After they are done soaking and when you are ready to start making the falafel, drain and rinse them.
- Pulse Ingredients Together. In a food processor, add the chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, chili, onion, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper and pulse until the mixture is a coarse texture (not blended completely).
- Add Four and Baking Soda. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and then add the flour and baking soda. Stir together, cover and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
- Shape the Falafel. Using your hands, an ice cream scoop or falafel scoop; form the falafel into balls or patties. If you find the mixture too wet, add another tablespoon of flour. If it’s too dry and crumbly; add a teaspoon or two of water or lemon juice.
- Fry the Falafel. To deep fry the falafel, add about 3 inches of oil to a pot on medium heat. Heat the oil to 350F. Cook the falafel in batches for 1-2 minutes or until golden. Then remove them to a paper towel-lined plate. Serve the falafel immediately, while warm and crispy on the outside.
How To Serve Falafel?
Falafel are best eaten hot, immediately after cooking so they are warm and the outside is still crispy. They can be served in a warm pita, on top of a salad, wrapped in lettuce, in a wrap or even in as part of a falafel bowl, alongside hummus, tzatziki, rice and pita. However you choose to eat them, don’t forget to drizzle tahini sauce on top. Tahini is a creamy, flavourful MUST for good falafel.
Storing and Freezing Falafel
If you want to make this recipe ahead, you can prepare the falafel mixture and keep it in the fridge for up to 2 days. Form into patties and fry the day you wish to serve it.
You can also freeze homemade falafels. Just place the uncooked falafel patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for 1 hour. Once hardened, transfer the frozen patties into a freezer bag or container and freeze for up to 1 month. When ready to serve, you can fry or bake the falafels from frozen.
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