Crispy Falafel (Traditional Method)

Falafel with detailed step by step photos. Falafel is a delicious snack that you can easily make at home following this foolproof recipe. A Vegan Recipe.

This recipe will give you one of the best falafel – crispy, crunchy, tasty and one you can enjoy as a plain snack or serve in pita bread with tahini sauce, hummus and pickles.

Get My Secrets to Great Indian Food

Sign up for my FREE Beginners Guide to Delicious Indian Cooking
falafel served in a chip and dip platter with muhammara

Making falafel is very easy and even beginners can make this delicious snack with this detailed recipe.

I have been making falafel for decades and it is a favorite snack at home. So I do make these at times. Some times I just serve them plain with a side dip or sauce and at times as a stuffing in pita bread or sandwiches.

What is falafel

Falafel is a fried middle eastern fried snack made with chickpeas or fava beans, herbs and spices. They can be made as patties or balls. It is also a popular street food in the middle east. This recipe shows you how to make falafel with dried chickpeas.

Falafel is mostly served in pita bread with hummus, tahini sauce, salad or pickled vegetables. however, you can even have falafel as a plain snack with a dip or chutney or even tomato ketchup.

These crispy falafels can also be served sandwiched between bread slices or a burger with your favorite toppings.

3 steps to make falafel

  1. Soaking:  this method of making falafel is the traditional method, where dried raw chickpeas are used. The chickpeas are soaked in water overnight or for 8 to 9 hours.
  2. Grinding: the soaked chickpeas are then ground semi coarsely. When grinding the chickpeas, seasonings, herbs and spices are added. You can use a good blender, mixer-grinder or a food processor to grind the chickpeas.
  3. Frying: the semi coarsely ground chickpea mixture is then shaped into balls or patties and deep-fried. Though you can even shallow fry or bake them. Falafel made with the traditional deep frying method gives you one of the best falafel.

How to make falafel

1. Rinse 1 cup dried chickpeas a couple of times in water. Then soak the chickpeas in enough water overnight or for 8 to 9 hours. Cover the bowl while soaking. The next day, drain all the water. Rinse the soaked chickpeas in running water. Drain again the water very well.

soaked chickpeas in a bowl

2. Then add the chickpeas in a grinder jar or a food processor or in a blender jar.

soaked chickpeas added in a grinder jar

3. Add the spices, seasonings and herbs – ¼ cup chopped onions, 1 teaspoon chopped garlic, 3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves or 3 tablespoons chopped parsley or 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves, ½ teaspoon red chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground coriander powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin powder, ¼ teaspoon whole black pepper and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour. Also, add salt as per taste.

spices and herbs added to soaked chickpeas in the grinder jar

4. Add ½ teaspoon lemon juice.

lemon juice added

5. Grind the mixture in small intervals of time. Scrape the sides of the mixture and add back in the jar. You can also use the pulse option which is there in the mixer-grinder or blender machine.

roughly ground falafel mixture

6. You should get a semi coarse mixture. Don’t make it too pasty and too smooth. Avoid adding water while grinding. If you are unable to grind without water, then you can add 1 to 3 tablespoons of water. If the mixture is too coarse, you won’t be able to shape them into balls. The consistency should be semi coarse, so that you are able to shape them in balls or patties. You can even refrigerate the mixture for some hours or a couple of days.

ground falafel mixture

7. Take the falafel mixture in a bowl. Check the taste and add more salt or spice powders if required. Mix again very well.

ground falafel mixture taken in a bowl

Test before frying falafel

8. First let’s test. Heat oil for shallow frying or deep frying in a pan or kadai. Roll a small ball or patty from the mixture and place it in the oil.

testing a tiny piece of ground mixture in hot oil

9. If the falafel does not break, then you are good to go with the frying. If it breaks then add ½ to 1 tablespoon more of the all-purpose flour (maida) to the falafel mixture.

The oil temperature is also crucial, as if the oil is not hot enough, the falafel can break. When you place the falafel in the oil, it should come up gradually on top. If it does not come on the top or sticks to the pan, the oil is not hot enough. If it comes too quickly and starts browning fast, the oil is very hot.

perfectly fried tiny falafel ball

Frying falafel

10. Make medium sized balls from the ground mixture and place them in medium hot oil. Add the number of balls depending on the size and capacity of the kadai or pan. Do not crowd the pan.

medium sized balls of falafel mixture placed in hot oil

11. When the bases get light golden, gently turn over.

lightly fried falafel being turned over in hot oil

12.  and fry the other side.

falafel being deep fried

13. Fry till they become crisp and are golden.

frying falafel till crisp and golden

13. Place fried falafels on kitchen paper towels so that they absorb extra oil.

falafels placed on kitchen paper towels

14. This way fry more falafel with the rest of the ground chickpea mixture.

many fried falafel balls placed on kitchen paper towel

15. Serve falafel as a side snack with a tahini dip or hummus. Falafel also tastes good with coriander chutney and even tomato sauce. You can also stuff them in pita breads or make a falafel wrap. I served them with muhammara (roasted red bell pepper dip).

falafel served in a chip and dip platter with muhammara

Serving falafel

  • Snack or finger food – falafel can be served plain as a snack with a dip or sauce.
  • In burgers, sandwiches, pita bread – you can also serve them stuffed in pita bread, buns, sandwich, burger or in a wrap or roll with tahini, hummus and pickled veggies or mix grated veggies.
  • Appetizer or starter: these can also be a part of a lebanese mezze if you plan to make one.
  • Salad – they make a nice addition in a salad.

Tips to make falafel

1. Dried chickpeas: in a falafel, crispy texture is achieved by using dried chickpeas. So I would suggest you to use dried chickpeas if making falafel for the first time. Canned chickpeas give a completely different taste and texture. They also require more all-purpose flour to be added.

2. Binding: as a binding agent you can use all purpose flour. Even whole wheat flour works well. For a gluten free falafel, use rice flour or chickpea flour.

3. Frying: the oil has to be hot enough when frying falafel. So before frying always check a small ball made from the mixture. It should not break or get too browned from outside.

If the oil is not hot, the falafel may absorb more oil and can also break in the oil. If the oil is too hot, the falafel can get browned from outside too quickly leaving the insides raw. So when frying fry at a medium to medium-high flame.

4. Consistency: The consistency of the ground mixture is semi coarse or semi-fine. Do not grind it too coarse as then the falafel balls cannot be shaped easily.

You can though grind to a fine consistency but don’t make it very smooth and pasty. The resulting texture in the fried falafel will be soft from inside but will taste good.

5. Storing falafel mixture: you can make a batch of the ground falafel mixture and then refrigerate or freeze it for a couple of days. Before frying let the ground mixture come at room temperature.

Falafel variations

  • Herbs – to the basic ground mixture, many variations can be done. More herbs can be added and you can make herbed falafel.
  • Healthy greens – greens like spinach, kale, amaranth can be added and you can have green falafel.
  • Veggies – beetroot, cabbage, radish or carrots can also be added to the ground chickpea mixture
  • Spices – various combinations of spice powders can be used to make a variety of falafel.
  • Baking – Falafel can be easily baked too. Shape them into patties. Place in a greased baking tray. Brush the tops and sides of the patties lightly with oil. In a preheated oven bake at 180 degrees celsius. Turn over halfway and continue to bake till they have a crisp and golden crust on top.

Few more snacks recipes for you!

STEP BY STEP PHOTOS ABOVEMany of my recipes have detailed step by step photos and useful tips to help you make it easily and perfectly.

Crispy Falafel (Traditional Method)

4.91 from 11 votes
Falafel is a middle eastern fried snack made with chickpeas or fava beans. The recipe posted here shows how to make falafel with dried chickpeas, which have been soaked and then ground.
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:8 hrs
Cook Time:30 mins
Total Time:8 hrs 30 mins
Course:snacks
Cuisine:middle eastern,world
Diet:vegan,vegetarian
Servings (change the number to scale):3
(1 CUP = 250 ML)

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup dried white chickpeas or 200 grams dried white chickpeas
  • 1 small onion - chopped or ¼ cup chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 3 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (cilantro leaves) or 3 tablespoons chopped parsley or 2 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper or sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander (coriander powder)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (cumin powder)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper or ½ tsp crushed black pepper or pepper powder
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour or add as required
  • salt as required
  • oil for deep frying, as required

Instructions

soaking chickpeas

  • Rinse 1 cup chickpeas for a couple of times in water. Then soak the chickpeas in enough water overnight or for 8 to 9 hours. Drain them well. 
  • Rinse them in running water. Drain very well again.

grinding

  • Then add them in a grinder jar or a food processor or in a blender jar.
  • Add the spices, seasonings and herbs - ¼ cup chopped onion, 1 tsp chopped garlic, 3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves or parsley, ½ tsp red chili powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, ¼ tsp black pepper and 1 tbsp all purpose flour.
  • Also add ½ tsp lemon juice and salt as per taste.
  • Grind the mixture in small intervals of time. Scrape the sides of the mixture and add back in the jar.
  • You should get a semi coarse mixture. Don't make it too pasty and smooth. Avoid adding water while grinding. If you are unable to grind without water, then you can add 1 to 3 tbsp of water.
  • Take the mixture in a bowl. Check the taste and add more salt or spices if required. With a spoon or your hands mix everything well.
  • If the mixture is too coarse, you won't be able to shape them into balls. The consistency should be semi coarse, so that you are able to shape them in balls or patties. You can even refrigerate the mixture for some hours or a couple of days.

checking oil temperature before frying falafel

  • First lets test the falafel. Heat oil for deep frying in a pan or kadai. Roll a small ball or patty from the mixture and place it in the oil.
  • If it does not break, then you are good to go with the frying. If it breaks then add ½ to 1 tbsp more of the all-purpose flour.
  • The oil temperature is also crucial, as if the oil is not hot enough, the falafel can break. 
  • When you place the falafel in the oil, it should come up gradually to the top. If it does not come to the top or sticks to the pan, the oil is not hot enough. If it comes too quickly and starts browning fast, the oil is very hot.

frying falafel

  • Make medium sized balls from the ground mixture and place them in medium hot oil. Add the number of balls depending on the size and capacity of the kadai or pan. Do not crowd the pan.
  • When the bases get light golden, gently turn over and fry the other side.
  • Fry till they become crisp and are golden.
  • Drain them on kitchen paper towels to remove excess oil.
  • This way make falafel with the rest of the mixture.
  • Serve falafel as a side snack with a tahini dip or hummus. It also tastes good with cilantro chutney and even tomato sauce. You can also stuff them in pita breads. 

Notes

  • To make gluten free version use rice flour or gram flour instead of all purpose flour.
  • Use dried chickpeas to get the crispy texture. Using canned chickpeas will give a completely different taste and texture. You will also require to add some more all purpose flour to bind the mixture well. 
  • Fry falafel in medium hot oil. Before frying always check a small ball made from the mixture. It should not break or get too browned from outside. If the oil is not hot, it may absorb more oil and can also break in the oil. If the oil is too hot, it can get browned from outside too quickly leaving the insides raw. So when frying fry at a medium to medium high flame. 
  • The consistency of the ground mixture is semi coarse or semi fine. Do not make it too coarse as the falafel balls cannot be shaped easily. But you can grind to a fine consistency. The resulting texture in the fried falafel will be smooth from inside but will taste good. 
  • You can easily store ground mixture in the fridge or freezer for a couple of days. Before frying let the ground mixture come at room temperature. 

Nutrition Info (approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
Crispy Falafel (Traditional Method)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 356 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 412mg18%
Potassium 649mg19%
Carbohydrates 47g16%
Fiber 13g54%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 14g28%
Vitamin A 170IU3%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Vitamin E 5mg33%
Vitamin K 8µg8%
Calcium 89mg9%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 383µg96%
Iron 5mg28%
Magnesium 85mg21%
Phosphorus 255mg26%
Zinc 2mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
GOOD KARMAAll our content & photos are copyright protected. Please do not copy. As a blogger, if you want to adapt this recipe or make a youtube video, then please write the recipe in your own words and give a clickable link back to the recipe on this url.
LIKE OUR VIDEOS!Then do follow and SUBSCRIBE to us on youtube to get the latest Recipe Video updates.
TRIED THIS RECIPE? If you have made the recipe and like it then do share the recipe link on facebook, twitter & pinterest. For Instagram mention @vegrecipesofindia or tag #vegrecipesofindia

Trending Recipes

Get My Secrets to Great Indian Food

Sign up for my FREE Beginners Guide to Delicious Indian Cooking

Dassana Amit

Dassana Amitnamaste and welcome to vegrecipesofindia.com which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

Comments are closed.

43 comments/reviews

  1. Hello mam…what can be added to make a gluten free version…cornflour or roasted besan?? Which will taste nicer???
    Btw ur recipes are awesome

    • thanks ruchika. use roasted besan. it will give a better taste than corn flour.

  2. When we were in US, a middle eastern friend suggested we use split green garbanzo (chickpeas/chana). It used to taste awesome. We moved to India recently and we have been searching for split hara chana (green chickpeas) since then but with no luck. Any idea where can we get that from?5 stars

    • hara chana is available in most grocery stores in metros. you can even find them in big stores like reliance etc. or you can buy online from amazon.in or bigbasket.

  3. Dear medam put hummus recipe

    • jimmy, you can hummus recipe at this link – https://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/hummus-recipe/

  4. Really love your recipe. I have been using Desi chickpeas for my recipes. How long would you recommend soaking them for this recipe?

    • thanks john. same time. i have also used desi chickpeas only.

  5. Wow5 stars

  6. Very nice recipe

  7. Nice falafel recipe. Liked your website, great going

    • thanks jayashree

  8. This recipe is great. I made a couple of these earlier today for lunch for myself and loved it so much I’m going to make a full batch for my husband to try when he gets in.
    I used sunflower oil for theing and they turned out beautifully just like the picture!5 stars

    • thanks sabbatha for sharing positive feedback on falafel. glad to know this.

  9. Can you tell me how to bake them? At what temperature and for how long?

    • Janaki, you can try baking them at 180 degree celsius. bake them till they look cooked and lightly browned from out. timing i can not say because the temperature varies from oven to oven.

  10. I like recipe

  11. what is the other option to make falafal instead of frying?

    • you can bake them.

  12. this recipe is awsome and its taste is like lakhnavi kabab4 stars

    • thanks neeru for the positive feedback.

  13. Dassana…want thank you for introducing such a wonderful recipe!
    I tried it and turned out to be excellent in taste.
    This is my first post ever on any website and would like to thank you for sharing such easy and great recipes.
    also i would like to know if i can store the falafel for later use…should i cook them or just keep the dough as it is? ( as onion is added in it …hope it doesnt leave water ) and finallly how to heat it again?5 stars

    • thanks prerna. you can freeze the mixture before frying. at room temperature or in the fridge, onions will release some water. that cannot be avoided. just bring it at room temperature and then fry again.

      • Thank you…i did as you said…kept the uncooked dough in the freezer and next day at room temperature, I fried them again…didnt have any problem as such…the dough was a little more loose because of the release of the water but i was able to make balls for frying and the taste was also same!!!

  14. Hi Dassana,

    Loving the recipes, please keep them coming.. Do you reckon I could use an Oven to make the falafel instead of deep frying? If yes can you tell me the settings and time please.

    • yes priyanka, you can bake the falafel in the oven. just brush them lightly with olive oil. i think the temperature can range between 180 to 200 degrees C and the time taken can be from 30 to 35 minutes or until they get slightly browned.

  15. was going thru ur pita bread recipe when i saw teh falafel recipe…ur falafels are looking very delicious..
    i made it using bread crumbs instead of flour( as i also had experienc eof teh chickpeas breaking up!!)
    will do the post later.. just wanted to share…

    • thats cool renu and thanks for sharing.

  16. The Falafel looks really crispy ….loved all the clicks Dassana….the light falling in each pic is really adding to the richness of the dish!

  17. Your falafel looks delish!

  18. wow…looks scrumptiously tasty…
    awesome click..love your presentation

    • thanks jay…

  19. Crispy and perfect…yummy for snack time

  20. had them like yesterday 🙂 mom made yumm…

  21. They look lovely, the shaft of light acroos the falafels is beautiful too! I have always had a bit of a disaster making falafels, they either fall apart or are too dense/heavy from the flour. Maybe it’s time to have another go, I do love them!!

    • thanks natalie. do try making the falafels at home, natalie. you are going to love them.

  22. Hey Dassana, the falafel look so delicious.

  23. Hi Dassana, i am very thankful to you for posting falafel receipe on my request..You remembered it…so nice and it shows your passion and love for cooking..Falafel are looking very crispy in the pics…i will now make falafel and hummus and will get back with my experience…God bless you!!

    with love, meeta..

    • welcome meeta. i enjoyed making these falafel… i do keep in mind all the recipe requests which i get and try to post them. a few recipe requests are on the way like idli, green coconut chutney, veg pizza and homemade white bread.

  24. These falafels look fantastic! I love falafels – these look so fresh and flavourful. I’ve book marked this page, so I can make them soon. Thanks for the great post 🙂 Love your blog!

    • thanks courtney.

  25. Thanks Dassana for the mention about the fundraiser.. Lets hope we can raise a decent amount!

    The Falafel looks scrumptious! Its like chickpea tikki. and works so well in wraps and burgers with lots of creamy sauces or chutneys!

    • i too hope that we raise a decent amount…..