Ready to learn how to make authentic falafel from scratch? My family’s secret recipe for the Best Authentic Falafel, made with chickpeas, fresh herb, and spices is all you need!
Be sure to check out the complete step-by-step tutorial, important tips for baking or frying falafel. And watch the video just above.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy falafel? I love them in warm pita sandwiches with tahini sauce or hummus, along with my lazy Mediterranean tomato and cucumber salad. But you can enjoy it alongside other plates or as part of a mezze spread (lots of ideas below!)
- 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
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 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 falafel sandwich (optional)
- Pita pockets
- English cucumbers, chopped or diced
- Tomatoes, chopped or diced
- Baby Arugula
- (One day in advance) 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.
- Add the chickpeas, herbs, onions, garlic and spices to the large bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade. Run the food processor 40 seconds at a time until all is well combined forming a the falafel mixture.
- Transfer the falafel mixture to 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 to 5 minutes or so until crispy and medium brown on the outside. 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!
- Cook’s Tip: You need to start with dry chickpeas, do not use canned chickpeas here. You will need to begin soaking the chickpeas overnight, allow up to 24 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 375 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.
- Popular falafel sauce: tahini sauce is what is traditionally used with falafel. I use organic tahini paste by Soom, and here is my tahini sauce recipe.
- 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.
- Visit our online shop to browse all-natural and organic spices, including cumin and coriander; organic tahini paste; extra virgin olive oils and more!
- Category: Entree
- Method: Fried or Baked
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keywords: falafel, how to make falafel, authentic falafel recipe