It took me until 18/19 years old to realize that good falafel was a beautiful green inside. Of course, that happened in Israel, where falafel is basically everywhere. According to my childhood, falafel came in a blue box. How different can fresh falafel even be?? Uhm, way better, I soon found out. It's really not hard to make fresh homemade falafel. The only thing that might throw you off is the dried chickpeas. So here's a PSA...planning to make falafel? SOAK. YOUR. CHICKPEAS. NOW. Okay cool let's dive in.....
The one annoying thing about fresh falafel is...
So like I said above, you must soak dry chickpeas for 18-24 hours. This is not what comes in a can (you can't use that stuff here...it messes up the texture) Dried chickpeas are found in the bean section. The goal here is to hydrate them and let them get to about triple their size. We're going to soak them in cold water with baking soda, then blend them. No cooking required!
Your chickpeas are soaked and ready. Now let's make falafel!!
What you need to make homemade falafel
- Dried chickpeas
- Red onion
- Fresh cilantro
- Fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper
- Baking soda
- Oil for frying
Clean and delicious ingredients! Take all that goodness and blend it to a coarse puree in a food processor.
Shaping and frying the homemade falafel
I like to oil my hands with olive oil first, then scoop the mixture out with a tablespoon or small ice cream scoop. Roll into a ball shape and set aside. (if you would like to bake them, form into more of a flatter patty shape.)
Heat up oil in a skillet to 350F for frying. While the oil is heating up, refrigerate the falafel. When it's ready fry for 2 minutes on one side, then flip and fry for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Pour ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil onto a rimmed baking sheet and turn until the pan is evenly coated. Set aside. Shape the falafel into small patties about 2" wide and ½" thick. Place the falafel on the oiled pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping halfway through the baking.
Can you make the falafel mixture in advance?
Yes! You can make this mixture then refrigerate it for 2-3 days. Or use half now, and the rest later.
Homemade falafel is best eaten fresh. It's most classically served with hummus and Israeli salad. You can stuff yours into a pita with additional toppings like tehina sauce, fried eggplant, and fries. You can also serve it over a tabouli salad.
More vegetarian dinners:
- 1 cup dried chickpeas
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ whole red onion
- ½ cup parsley loosely packed
- ½ cup cilantro loosely packed
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon coriander
- oil for frying or less for baking
- Pour the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Add ½ teaspoon baking soda and soak for 18-24 hours.
- After 18-24 hours, the chickpeas should look plump and about 3x their original size. Strain them and add to the bowl of a food processor.
- Add in the onion, garlic, fresh herbs, and spices. Blend until a coarse puree is formed. Scoop the falafel out with a heaping Tbsp. Form into balls for frying or flatter patties for baking. While the oven is heating up for baking, or the oil is heating up for frying, place the falafel balls in the fridge.
- Continue with your preferred cooking method below.
- Fill a medium saucepan up with about 2" of oil. Heat the oil to 350 F on meidum0hihg heat, until it bubbles softly. Using a slotted spoon, drop the falafel in the hot oil, cooking for about 2 minutes per side. remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel lined pan or plate.
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Pour ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet. Turn until the pan is coated in the oil. Place the falafels on the oiled pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the falafels are deeply golden on both sides.
Tried this recipe?
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