Falafel: Deep-fried balls or patties made from ground chickpeas or fava beans, mixed with herbs and spices.

Falafel is a popular Middle Eastern dish made from ground chickpeas or fava beans, mixed with herbs and spices, and then fried. It’s commonly served in pita bread with vegetables and tahini sauce. Here’s a basic recipe for making falafel:


  • 1 cup dried chickpeas (not canned or pre-cooked)
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for heat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2-4 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or chickpea flour for gluten-free)
  • Oil for frying


  1. Soak the Chickpeas:
    • Rinse the chickpeas and soak them in cold water overnight. They will double in size, so ensure they’re well-covered with water.
  2. Prepare the Falafel Mixture:
    • Drain the chickpeas and add them to a food processor with the onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, salt, cumin, coriander, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
    • Process until mixture is coarse and grainy, but not pureed.
    • Transfer to a bowl and mix in baking soda, lemon juice, and enough flour to help the mixture hold together.
  3. Chill the Mixture:
    • Let the mixture rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. This helps the flavors meld and makes the mixture easier to shape.
  4. Shape the Falafel:
    • With wet hands, form the chickpea mixture into small balls or slightly flattened patties.
  5. Fry the Falafel:
    • Heat about 3 inches of oil in a deep pot or deep fryer to 350°F (175°C).
    • Fry the falafel in batches, turning them as needed, until they’re a deep golden brown (about 4-5 minutes).
    • Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  6. Serve:
    • Serve the falafel hot in pita bread with vegetables like tomato, cucumber, and onion, and drizzle with tahini sauce.


  • Chickpeas: It’s crucial to use dried and soaked chickpeas, as canned chickpeas will make the falafel too soft and they may fall apart when frying.
  • Serving Suggestions: Falafel can also be served on a plate with a salad, pickled vegetables, and dips.
  • Baking Alternative: For a healthier version, you can bake the falafel at 375°F (190°C) for about 25-30 minutes, flipping them halfway through, until they’re golden.

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