falafel recipe with step by step photos – falafel is a middle eastern snack of deep fried balls or patties made from white chickpeas or fava beans. they are usually stuffed in pita bread with tahini, hummus or a vegetable salad or an assortment of veggies. absolutely wonderful and awesome snack.
all those who read my blog may know that i am very fond of middle eastern cuisine. so sometimes along with posting indian food, i also post some vegetarian middle eastern food recipes.
i was anyways going to post falafel recipe sooner or later hadn’t it been a request from a reader. i had boiled chickpeas leftover after making palak saag chana and the request came the same day. so decided to make falafel instead of making hummus from the chickpeas.
recently in a restaurant we had a lebanese mezze, and we all loved it. their falafels were round like small balls and not flattened. i made these falafels somewhat smaller in size and flattened for ease of frying in my medium sized wok or kadai. instead of frying, falafels can also be grilled or baked.
i know of 2 ways of making falafel recipe:
- in the first method the dried white chickpeas are soaked overnight in water. later the chickpeas are drained and then ground coarsely with spices and herbs. this is the easiest and reliable method to make falafel. you can also check here the traditional recipe –falafel recipe (made with dried chickpeas)
- the second method is shown in this recipe post. here cooked or canned chickpeas are coarsely ground or mashed. spices, herbs and a binding agent are added. the whole mixture should resemble coarse bread crumbs. remember that the chickpeas should not be mashed very fine and pasty. this second method can be tricky if the binding agent is not enough. the falafels can break in oil while frying. thus some more of the binding agent needs to be added.
for binding all purpose flour (maida) or bread crumbs can be added to the falafel mixture. i have even added whole wheat flour to the falafel for binding purpose. if you don’t add any binding ingredient, then there is a chance that the falafel might break while frying in the hot oil. it has happened with me once. so i had to clear the messy oil and start all over again.
in this post, i am sharing the second method of making falafels with cooked chickpeas. instead of cooked chickpeas you can also use canned chickpeas.
soak the dried chickpeas for a good 8 to 9 hours and then boil them in a pressure cooker with water and some salt. the chickpeas should be cooked well. drain the water and keep the chickpeas aside.
the texture of the falafels with this method shown here is different than the one made with soaked chickpeas. taste wise both are good. you can also check this variation of falafel recipe made with herbs – herb falafel recipe
falafel recipe with canned chickpeas below:
crisp chickpea falafel recipe - falafel is a middle eastern snack of deep fried balls or patties made from white chickpeas or fava beans. this falafel recipe is made with cooked chickpeas. canned chickpeas also can be used.
- 1 cup cooked white chickpeas or canned chickpeas (kabuli chana or chole)
- 1 small to medium onion, finely chopped (pyaaz)
- 2-3 garlic, crushed or finely chopped or minced (lahsun)
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder (dhania powder)
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder (lal mirch powder) - optional
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder (jeera powder)
- ½ teaspoon crushed black pepper or pepper powder
- 2 to 3 tablespoon all purpose flour (maida) or bread crumbs or whole wheat flour (atta)
- 3 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped or minced (or coriander leaves)
- ½ to 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
- salt as required
- oil for deep frying
combine all the ingredients in a bowl. drain the water very well from the cooked chickpeas or canned chickpeas.
mash the chickpeas and mix everything well.
- form into small or medium sized balls or patties
- deep fry in hot oil like the way you would do for pakoras/fritters.
- turn over to the other side whilst frying to ensure that the falafels are evenly fried.
- drain falafel on kitchen tissues to remove excess oil.
- serve falafel hot with pita bread or serve as snack/starter with some sauce.
how to make falafel recipe with canned chickpeas or cooked chickpeas:
1: put all the cooked chickpeas or canned chickpeas, spices, herbs, all purpose flour or bread crumbs, salt and lemon juice in a bowl. drain all the water very well from cooked chickpeas or canned chickpeas – whatever you are going to use. for canned chickpeas, you can even rinse them in water to reduce the sodium content.
2: with a wooden spoon, mix all the ingredients mashing the chickpeas as you do so. you can pulse this mixture in a blender or grinder.
3: shape into small or medium sized balls or patties.
4: deep fry in medium hot oil like the way you would do for pakoras or fritters. before frying the falafels, do a test by adding a tiny ball of the mixture in hot oil. if this breaks while frying, then you need to add 1 to 2 tablespoons more of the all purpose flour or bread crumbs. mix again and form the patties. instead of frying you can even bake the falafel.
5: turn over to the other side whilst frying to ensure that the falafels are evenly fried.
6: drain falafel or kitchen tissues to remove excess oil. serve falafel hot with pita bread or serve as snack or starter with some sauce or dip. even the indian mint cilantro chutney goes well with falafels. i served falafel with parsley pesto.