How to: Make Your Own – Falafel



It’s no secret we tend toward vegetarianism here at How to Eat.  While Dara and I both enjoy all foods, there is a heavy emphasis on plant based cooking in our homes.

For me, it’s the same when eating out too. Make no mistake; I will not pass on a burger at a restaurant known for its burger, but given a choice I usually opt for veg meals.

The point being, falafel and I have become very well acquainted these last few years.

I be eatin’ lots of falafel.


Falafel are popular throughout the Middle East. You’ll typically find them served on a pita or flatbread with a plethora of veggie (fresh and pickled) and sauce options.


Dried, uncooked chick peas are traditionally used in falafel and lend a fluffy texture when cooked.  Canned chick peas are pre-cooked and can certainly be used as well, but the texture won’t be quite the same.


Other than the 24 hour soak, these come together quickly and easily.


Hardly any chopping either.  Thanks food processor!

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This makes a big old batch of 24.  I fried half and baked half.


Listen to me people.  You can deep fry and still be healthy.  The low fat diet craze is so passé.  Fat is good for you.  Cook at the right temperature with the right oil and you’re golden.  Literally.

Ha! Get it?


Fried vs Baked.  Both good, but fried is better.  It’s also more traditional.

And it would be rude to break tradition, no?

To ease your mind, here’s a great piece by Mark Bittman (also the creator of this recipe) about deep frying.


Serve your falafel hot out of the oil for the best results.

I served one batch over a salad with some feta cheese and the other with a tahini dipping sauce (⅓ cup tahini, ⅓ cup water, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp honey, big pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper).

They are just SO good.





Serves Makes 24 Falafel
Prep time 24 hours
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 24 hours, 25 minutes
By author From Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian iPhone App


  • 1 ¾ cup dried chickpeas
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Small onion (quartered)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • canola oil for baking or frying

more or less to taste

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne


Falafel are best served right from the pan when they're hot and crispy.


1. Place dried chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with 3-4 inches of water. Soak for 24 hours, adding additional water if needed to keep chickpeas completely submerged.
2. Drain chickpeas and transfer to food processor along with remaining ingredients except oil. Pulse until almost smooth (adding water 1 Tbsp at a time if necessary), occasional scraping down sides of bowl as needed. This may need to be done in batches depending on the size of your machine.
3. Scoop out heaping tablespoons of the mixture forming in to balls or patties.
4. If frying, pour canola oil into a saucepan to a depth that would completely submerge your formed balls/ patties. Heat oil to 350F (using a thermometer) or the low end of medium-high heat. Fry in batched without crowding, until nicely browned - 3 to 4 minutes.
5. If baking, preheat oven to 375F. Spread 2 Tbsp canola oil over a lined baking sheet. Place falafel on baking sheet and brush the tops generously with additional canola oil. Bake for 10-12 minutes per side until golden brown.

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