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Falafel recipe (all the secrets)

Fried or baked, falafel is made from ground chickpeas and can be a delicious part of your dinner or a filling snack. Read below all the secrets for perfect falafel every time.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine gluten-free, Lebanese, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword baked, chickpeas, falafel, fried, homemade, tahini sauce
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 53 minutes
Servings 4 (about 20 falafel balls)
Calories 350 kcal
Author Makos


For the chickpeas:

  • 1 cup (200 grams) dried chickpeas
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda

For the falafel mixture:

  • 2 green onions, chopped (about 50-60 grams) – the white and some of the green part
  • 1 cup (1 small bunch) parsley or cilantro, chopped (50 grams)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)

For frying:

  • Vegetable oil for frying (it should be about 1 inch / 2.5 cm deep)


  1. Soak the chickpeas: From the previous day, place the chickpeas, the water and 1 tablespoon of the baking soda in a large bowl. Stir until the baking soda is dissolved and let the chickpeas soak for 12 hour or more.

  2. The next day drain well and mix them with the second tablespoon of baking soda. Let them sit for 20-30 minutes (prepare the rest of the ingredients during this time) rinse well and drain.

  3. Make the falafel mixture: Transfer the chickpeas, the onions, the parsley, the garlic, the cumin, the salt, the black pepper, the 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, the paprika and the sesame seeds to the bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground (you can do it in batches if your food processor is small). You may have to stop and scrape the bowl 1-2 times.

  4. Rest: Transfer the mixture to a bowl and store in the fridge for 30 minutes (this will help the mixture to become more coherent).

  5. Form the falafel: Scoop tablespoons of the mixture and press them between your hands to form small balls (don't make them too large because they may break during cooking).

  6. Fry: Transfer the oil to a frying pan and heat over medium high heat (about 360°F / 180°C). Fry for 3-4 minutes each side or until browned. Remove with a slotted spatula and place over kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil. Serve.

Recipe Notes

The exact amount of oil you use will depend on the size of the pan. The oil should reach about half the height of the falafel.

Serve with pita bread and homemade hummus or labneh (yogurt cream cheese).


Baking instructions:

  • Preheat your fan oven to 375 °F (190 °C) and place a rack in the middle position.
  • Brush a baking pan generously with olive oil or another vegetable oil.
  • Scoop out 1 heaped tablespoon of the mixture and shape it into small patties (patties are baked better than balls). Place on the baking pan and very gently brush the tops with some extra oil.
  • Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, carefully flipping them halfway through baking, until the falafel are golden brown on both sides.


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