Learn how to make the best falafel! Flavor-packed vegan chickpea patties with fresh herbs and warm Middle Eastern spices. Serve them with favorite small plates, or make loaded falafel sandwiches! Watch the video and the step-by-step tutorial for best results.
- 2 cups dried chickpeas (Do NOT use canned or cooked chickpeas)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup fresh parsley leaves, stems removed
- 3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, stems removed
- 1/2 cup fresh dill, stems removed
- 7–8 garlic cloves, peeled
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- Oil for frying
Fixings for sandwich (optional)
- Place the dried chickpeas and baking soda in a large bowl filled with water to cover the chickpeas by at least 2 inches. Soak overnight for 16-18 hours (more if the chickpeas are still too hard). When ready, drain the chickpeas completely and pat them dry.
- Place the fresh leaves of parsley, cilantro and dill in a large food processor. Pulse to finely chop the herbs.
- Now add the chickpeas, garlic and spices. Run the food processor 40 seconds at a time until all is well combined forming a smooth falafel mixture.
- Transfer the falafel mixture into a container and cover tightly. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or (up to one whole night) until ready to cook.
- Just before frying, add the baking powder and sesame seeds to the falafel mixture and stir with a spoon.
- Scoop tablespoonfuls of the falafel mixture and form into patties (1/2 inch in thickness each). It helps to have wet hands as you form the patties.
- Fill a medium saucepan 3 inches up with oil. Heat the oil on medium-high until it bubbles softly. Carefully drop the falafel patties in the oil, let them fry for about 3-4 minutes or so until medium brown. Avoid crowding the falafel in the saucepan, fry them in batches if necessary.
- Place the fried falafel patties in a colander or plate lined with paper towels to drain.
- Serve falafel hot next to other small plates; or assemble the falafel patties in pita bread with tahini or hummus, arugula, tomato and cucumbers. Enjoy!
- Note: You will need to begin soaking the chickpeas overnight, allow up to 18 hours.
- Falafel Recipe variations: Variations of this recipe may call for flour or eggs. If you prefer, you can add 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp of flour to the falafel mix or 1 egg. I did not use either, and the falafel mixture stayed well together.
- Pro Tip for Frying: When you fry the falafel patties, you want to achieve a deep golden brown color on the outside. More importantly, the patties need to be fully done on the inside. Your frying oil needs to be at 350 degrees F, for my stove, that was at a medium-high temp. Be sure to test your first batch and adjust the frying time as needed.
- Baked Falafel Option: If you prefer, you can bake the falafel patties in a 350 degree F heated oven for about 15-20 minutes, turning them over midway through. Use a lightly oiled sheet pan, and you might like to give the patties a quick brush of extra virgin olive oil before baking.
- Pro-Tip for Make-Ahead: To make ahead and freeze, prepare the falafel mixture and divide into patties (up to step #6). Place the patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze. When they harden, you can transfer the falafel patties into a freezer bag. They will keep well in the freezer for a month or so. You can fry or bake them from frozen.
- Category: Entree
- Method: Fried or Baked
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keywords: falafel, how to make falafel, authentic falafel recipe