Falafel: Printer Friendly Version

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt or sea salt
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 8 to 14 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Canola, vegetable, safflower or peanut oil for frying.

Optional for serving:

  • Pita bread
  • Tahini sauce (see recipe below)
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped onions

Rinse and pick over the dried chickpeas, removing any debris, discolored or misshapen beans in the process.  Place the chickpeas in a bowl and cover with at least 2 inches of cool water.  Place the bowl, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.

Drain the chickpeas and place in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade.  Add the onions, parsley, cilantro, garlic, cumin, cayenne and salt to the work bowl, fix the cover in place and pulse until everything is finely ground but not pasty.  Sprinkle the baking soda and 8 tablespoons of the flour flour over the ground chickpea mixture and pulse again until it is evenly combined.  Scrape the falafel mixture into a mixing bowl. Use your hands to mix in the remaining flour until the mixture does not stick to you as much.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cooking.

To cook:

Line a plate with paper towels and set aside.

Heat 3 inches of oil to about 375°F in a high-sided, heavy-bottomed pan. While oil is heating, form the falafel mixture into ping pong size balls, using about 1-1/2 Tablespoons at a time. When oil reaches the right temperature, drop about 6 balls in at a time.  Fry for about 1 minute, flip the balls and fry for an additional minute.  Use a slotted spoon or tongs to transfer the falafel to the lined plate.

Serve hot with a side of tahini sauce or stuffed into pita halves with chopped tomatoes, onion and tahini sauce.

Tahini Sauce

Adapted from a recipe by Tyler Florence

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (or plain yogurt if Greek yogurt is not available)
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice or white wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Add all ingredients to a blender, cover, and process on high speed until completely smooth. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your liking.  Serve over fried falafel or salad greens.