One of my favourite things to cook and eat is Homemade Falafel. They are great to serve as an appetizer, as part of a mezze platter, and also great to have as a main meal when served in a wrap or with some rice and salad.
To serve I like to make a quick tahini sauce which I also share in this recipe. It also pairs really well with a fresh Shirazi Salad.
What is Falafel?
Falafel is a popular middle eastern dish made with ground chickpeas, mixed with herbs and spices formed together into small balls and deep fried to provide a crunchy texture on the outside and soft in the middle.
Ingredients to make Homemade Falafel Recipe
- Chickpeas, ensure they are soaked dried chickpeas overnight rather than using canned chickpeas which will make them mushy
- Fresh Herbs in parsley, coriander, mint, and shallots
- Garlic, I've only used one large clove in this recipe
- Cumin is the only spice used in my recipe, you can also add chili
- Chickpea Flour I prefer to use but you can use any flour. This helps bind the mixture together
- Baking powder to assist with a fluffy soft texture
How to make Homemade Falafel
- Grab your fresh herbs and roughly give them a quick chop. Add to your food processor with your soaked chickpeas and seasoning and blend until finely chopped together.
- With a spoon and your hands, roll falafel mixture into balls and place on a tray lined with a baking sheet, and let them set in the fridge for one hour.
- Deep fry in oil and let them stand on paper towels to remove the excess oil before serving with tahini dressing.
How to make Falafel in the Air Fryer
Time needed: 37 minutes.
- Preheat Air Fryer
Heat Air Fryer to 180°C/350°F
- Put in Falafel balls
Gently place falafels inside ensuring they are not touching and spray the tops with oil spray
Cook for 11 -13 minutes then take them out, they should be golden. Turn them around and spray the tops with oil then cook for another 2 minutes.
- Ensure to use dried chickpeas that have been soaked overnight. Using canned chickpeas won’t have the same texture as they’re already cooked, they become mushy and soggy once blended with all the ingredients
- Pulse the food processor rather than letting it blend. This way you can control the chopping and keep some texture in the mixture
- The water is only needed if your mixture is dry and too crumbly as it will help it hold together. Ensure to only add slowly and not too much of it
- Be gentle when rolling the falafel. I’ve found it helps to use a spoon to shape and press your hands when rolling
- Refrigerating the falafel before frying them helps the excess moisture dry out. It’s not mandatory but it’s recommended
- Place the falafel on a paper towel after they’ve been fried to allow the remove the excess oil
More Chickpea Recipes
- 1 cup dried chickpeas soaked overnight
- 1 cup parsley
- 1 cup coriander (cilantro)
- 10 mint leaves
- 4 shallots
- 1 large garlic clove
- 2 tbsp flour (I used chickpea flour but you can use any flour)
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Oil for frying
- 1 heaped tbsp tahini
- ½ lemon squeezed
- 1-2 tbsp cold water
- Sea salt
- Soak dry chickpeas for a minimum of 8hrs or overnight in water, make sure your bowl has enough room as chickpeas will expand double in size
- Drain and pulse the soaked chickpeas in a food processor a few times until they are chopped
- Roughly chop all herbs and add into the food processor along with all other ingredients
- Blitz together until all ingredients are combined and finely diced, make sure to not over blitz as you want to keep some texture
- Using your hands and with a tablespoon, roll mixture into balls and place on a tray lined with baking paper
- Refrigerate for one hour
- To make the tahini sauce, add all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until a creamy consistency is achieved. If it's too thick, add more water to thin it out
- Follow your preferred cooking method below then serve with tahini dip and a side of pickles is always a great combo. To serve as a main, serve with rice and salad or works well in a wrap.
- Deep fry falafels into heated oil for a few minutes until golden on each side. Fry in batches and don't overcrowd the pot so falafels aren't touching
- Remove and place on paper towels to remove excess oil
- Heat Air Fryer to 180°C/350°F
- Place Falafel balls gently inside ensuring they are not touching and spray the tops with oil spray (I use olive oil spray)
- Cook for 11 - 13 minutes then take them out, they should be golden. Turn them around and spray the tops with oil then cook for another 2 minutes.
- The information on the nutritional table is the falafel being “uncooked” so the frying oil is not included. This will vary on the type of oil that’s being used along with the cooking method