Chef John's Falafel


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.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Additional Time:
12 hrs
Total Time:
12 hrs 30 mins
6 servings


  • 1 cup dry garbanzo beans

  • ½ yellow onion, diced

  • ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 4 cloves minced garlic

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, or more as needed

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt, or to taste

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander

  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

  • teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • oil for frying


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

  2. 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.

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

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

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


Serve with Chef John's Tahini Sauce.


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 (per serving)

271 Calories
17g Fat
24g Carbs
7g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 271
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Sodium 646mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 7g 23%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 11mg 55%
Calcium 55mg 4%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 366mg 8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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