Unlike most of America's other favorite fast foods, falafel is rarely attempted at home, which is a shame, since it's very simple to do, and even a relative novice like me can get some very decent results. One word of warning: you do need to know you're going to have a craving for this a full day before you actually want to eat it.

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
10 mins
additional:
12 hrs
total:
12 hrs 30 mins
Servings:
6
Yield:
6 servings
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place garbanzo beans into a large container and cover with several inches of cool water; let stand 12 to 24 hours. Drain.

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  • Blend garbanzo beans, onion, parsley, garlic, flour, lemon juice, salt, cumin, coriander, baking soda, and cayenne pepper together in a food processor, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until mixture is finely ground and holds together when pressed. Transfer garbanzo mixture to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until flavors blend, 1 to 2 hours.

  • Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  • Divide dough into 12 portions and roll each with moistened hands into a ball.

  • Working in batches, cook falafel balls in hot oil until browned and crispy, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to drain.

Tips

Nutrition:

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. The exact amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and the specific type of oil used.

Nutrition Facts

271 calories; protein 7.1g 14% DV; carbohydrates 24.4g 8% DV; fat 16.9g 26% DV; cholesterol 0mg; sodium 646.4mg 26% DV. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (104)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
07/29/2015
These were really good. One important tip to make these spur of the moment: I always keep a stock of chickpeas that I've soak, drained, and then frozen (they freeze well in ziplock bags for months). I used these chickpeas and simply thawed them and let them drain out very well before adding them to the food processor. That work perfectly. I fried mine in a pan. I think, if I'd tested the temp of the oil in the pan or deep fried them they might have been better, but they were very good. I'll do them again! Read More
(68)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
07/17/2016
The taste was great but I used canned chickpeas which turned out very moist and crumbled in oil. I coated then with additional flour before frying, but was still crumbly. I didn't used salt or baking soda, and added a littler more cumin and a lot of flour. May coat them with breadcrumbs next time. Read More
(5)
147 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 120
  • 4 star values: 16
  • 3 star values: 5
  • 2 star values: 4
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 4 stars
07/29/2015
These were really good. One important tip to make these spur of the moment: I always keep a stock of chickpeas that I've soak, drained, and then frozen (they freeze well in ziplock bags for months). I used these chickpeas and simply thawed them and let them drain out very well before adding them to the food processor. That work perfectly. I fried mine in a pan. I think, if I'd tested the temp of the oil in the pan or deep fried them they might have been better, but they were very good. I'll do them again! Read More
(68)
Rating: 5 stars
09/11/2015
Yes!!! An excellent recipe that uses rehydrated dried chickpeas instead of cooked and canned ones. The flavor is better Chef John's way. The trick is to keep the moisture at a minimum so that you can form the felafel balls and they'll hold their shape. Propper oil temperature is a must. Start at 400F because the temp drops when you add the felafel. I use a long handled slotted spoon to carefully place the felafel in the frying pan. You definitely want to avoid splatter. To make the sandwiches, I dice cukes, tomato, onion and add these to the felafel. Plain yogurt with chopped cilantro or a little oregano makes a great topping. Low cal but very filling. Read More
(40)
Rating: 5 stars
04/17/2015
Absolutely delicious! I pretty much stuck to the recipe. I did add a tiny bit more flour to my mixture & I pan fried in veggie oil. In my opinion you can't use canned chickpeas, the mixture would be too moist & the falafel would fall apart in the oil while frying. Please use dry beans! Read More
(32)
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Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2017
I made these, following the recipe exactly. Turned out great... To you guys using canned beans or altering the recipe and then giving poor reviews, shame on you. If you follow the directions to a T, it will turn out great! Read More
(26)
Rating: 5 stars
12/13/2017
You Can Use Canned Garbonzo (Chickpeas) in this recipe. Rinse canned beans, dry on paper towel for a bit, then put in 200* - 250* oven for a few minutes to dry out. Let coast after turned off oven, till dry! To get more of a lemon kick, I also process in some lemon rind I always make small rounds and pan fry in my large cast iron skillet. Sometimes my mixture is a little dry, so I add 1/2 beaten egg so patties stick together. Read More
(21)
Rating: 5 stars
06/13/2016
This was so, so good!!!! For anyone who has neither a deep fryer nor a thermometer appropriate for measuring the temperature of the oil, this might be helpful to know: on my gas stove, a tiny bit hotter than medium heat was perfect. (The first couple fried up too dark because I had the heat too high. There was a little bit of a charred taste, but we still ate them--that's how good this recipe is!) Hope that helps someone else! Read More
(21)
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Rating: 5 stars
08/10/2015
My first attempt at falafel balls and they turned out wonderfully! I didn't have any flat-leafed parsley, so I used the bushier kind available at my supermarket. I also omitted the corriander because I didn't have any. I have done the recipe twice now. Once I let the ingredients sit for 2 hours for them to combine and the second time, I made it straight away. I honestly couldn't note too much difference in taste. Also, I had a heart breaking moment when my falafel balls seem to be falling apart as I was forming them, but this was because I hadn't wet my hands. You MUST wet your hands! Once I did, it was a breeze. I deep fried my balls in vegetable oil in a little 7" wide sauce pan. Just 2-3 at a time. Served inside of a pita bread with cucumber and mint sauce and it was amazing! Even meat lovers will love this vegetarian dish! Five stars all the way! Read More
(19)
Rating: 5 stars
06/07/2016
The only change I made was to reduce the salt to 1 tsp. I also made patties instead of balls so I could serve the falafel in pitas. Yes, this takes some preparation, but to my mind it's worth it when the end product is restaurant quality and adds to my arsenal of simple, accessible vegetarian and vegan recipes :). Thank you, Chef John! I will definitely make again! Read More
(13)
Rating: 5 stars
07/19/2016
awesome flavor and super easy to make. the hardest part was finding dry chickpeas in my area of Ohio. once I had those it was smooth sailing. Delicious authentic flavor. for great cucumber sauce mix a 6oz plain yogurt with 1 Tbsp of mayo, plus half a diced peeled cucumber. Salt and pepper to taste and a dash of cumin and refrigerate. Read More
(11)
Rating: 3 stars
07/17/2016
The taste was great but I used canned chickpeas which turned out very moist and crumbled in oil. I coated then with additional flour before frying, but was still crumbly. I didn't used salt or baking soda, and added a littler more cumin and a lot of flour. May coat them with breadcrumbs next time. Read More
(5)
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