What is falafel?

Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern dish, often sold by street food vendors.  Similar to a fritter or hushpuppy, Falafel is made with ground chickpeas or fava beans, parsley or mint, and spices.  The mixture is formed into balls or patties and deep-fried for a texture that is crispy but soft on the inside.  

Falafel can be served as part of a platter or mezze with Tahini Sauce or as a sandwich in a pita with tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, and yogurt or sauce.  Falafel can be baked instead of fried for a healthier version of this popular plant-based dish.

Plan to prepare the chickpeas the day before because they are uncooked and have to soak. Canned peas are not recommended because the falafel will be too mushy - more like hummus. 

This recipe should make about 16-20 small-sized patties.

 Print Recipe

Prep Time: 20 min.
Cooking Time: 40 min.
Servings: 8
Cooking Method: Quick and Easy
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
  1. Soak chickpeas in water for at least 24 hours, then drain and rinse them. You’ll have about 4 ½ cups.
  2. Place all ingredients in a food processor. Process until the consistency of coarse meal that holds together when formed into a ball. Mix well so ingredients get fully incorporated. Refrigerate for an hour.
  3. Heat oil for frying to 375F.
  4. Form the Falafel. Use 2 Tbsp to form a ball or patty type. If the Falafel won’t stay together, add a bit more flour.
  5. Test oil by adding just one first. Fry in batches, making sure not to overcrowd. Fry for a few minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oil with tongs or a slotted spoon. Drain on a paper towel.
  6. Serve with tahini sauce, or as a falafel sandwich.