A simple, traditional take, this Easy Falafel Recipe is unlike the standard variety floating around the internet. With soaked dried chickpeas instead of cooked or canned, and earthy spices, these delightful little fried balls of deliciousness are ready to eat in under 15 minutes and pair perfectly with hummus, tzatziki, and of course, some Israeli salad! Follow the steps below to get the best damn falafel ever!
Why Make This Falafel Recipe?
I’ve tried many different recipes over the years, including my own creations, but after trying the falafel at Taim in NYC and in Haifa, Israel, I knew I had been missing out.
After a lot of research, I developed what I think is the closest variation of both of my favorite tasting falafel, and I’m here to give you a taste of that amazingness! The biggest bonus is that it prepares so quickly, it’s kind of ridiculous to not make this, like, all the time.
So fast, so simple.
What Do I Need To Make This Easy Falafel Recipe?
You need very few ingredients at all to make this simple traditional recipe. It may surprise you!
- dried chickpeas
- sweet yellow onion
- fresh garlic
- ground coriander
- ground cumin
- salt & pepper
- kalamata olives
That’s it, other than canola oil for frying.
Why Dried Chickpeas?
I always made falafel with canned chickpeas in the past, but after researching traditional falafel, I learned using soaked dried chickpeas was the standard for a perfect bite of amazingness.
Soaked dried chickpeas hold their texture better, and retain their starch, which means you don’t need binders like eggs and flour. This easy falafel recipe is gluten-free and vegan as a result!
How To Make Falafel
The process starts the evening before:
- place dried chickpeas in cold water and let them soak overnight
Pretty simple. The next day:
- drain chickpeas well, pat lightly dry if desired
- pulse onion and garlic in a food processor until nearly pureed
- add chickpeas and seasoning and pulse until they are broken down just slightly
- add the olives and continue to pulse until the mixture is finely chopped but not pureed
- shape into balls and fry in canola oil until golden brown
It takes just a few minutes to create the falafel mixture and a few minutes per batch to fry the falafel!
Tips For Success
There are a few things that will help ensure you create a perfect falafel!
- while it’s important to not over-process the mixture, you don’t want to under-process it either, or it will fall apart while frying
- to prevent excess liquid in the mixture, I actually pressed a lot of the liquid from the olives before I used them, and measured them with whole olives
- if olives are are a turn-off, swap them with an equal amount of cilantro and parsley mixed together
- fry the falafel in small batches to keep the temperature of the oil hot, as a crowded pot lowers the temp and causes the falafel to get soggy with oil instead of crispy and tender
Easy Falafel Recipe
- 2 cups dried chickpeas* soaked in cold water overnight
- 1 medium sweet yellow onion quartered
- 4 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon za'atar seasoning
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
- ¾ cup whole pitted kalamata olives
- canola oil for frying
- The evening before, add dried chickpeas to a large bowl and cover with several inches of cold water. Let soak overnight, then drain thoroughly.
- In a food processor, add the onion and garlic and pulse until nearly pureed. Add the soaked chickpeas, coriander, salt, za'atar, cumin, and pepper and pulse several more times to lightly break up the chickpeas. Add the olives and pulse until the mixture reaches a coarse grind, but not pureed.
- Heat canola oil in a high-sided pot over medium-to-medium-high heat (or 375 degrees via candy thermometer). Form falafel mixture into 1 ½-inch balls and fry in batches for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain off excess oil and serve immediately.
- if you're anything like me and just soak a whole bag of chickpeas, use 4 cups of soaked chickpeas to equal 2 cups dried.
- to reduce the likelihood of having too much liquid in the mixture, I recommend thoroughly draining the chickpeas and letting them sit for awhile before using, or lightly patting them with paper towels.
- I also press out excess liquid from olives with paper towels, but if you find a lot of excess liquid in the falafel mixture, just gently drain it from the food processor.
- a cookie scoop works well to make perfectly sized-and-shaped falafel balls.