Easy and Authentic Homemade Falafel Recipe

Easy and Authentic Homemade Falafel Recipe

Discover the secret to making restaurant-quality falafel at home: crispy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside, bursting with herb and spice flavors.

Falafel is a beloved Middle Eastern dish that’s taken the world by storm. However, many people have only experienced subpar versions that are heavy and pasty. This recipe will change your mind about falafel forever, delivering a texture and taste that’s truly authentic and irresistible.

The key to perfect falafel lies in using dried chickpeas instead of canned ones. This might seem counterintuitive, but it’s the secret to achieving that ideal texture we’re after. By soaking dried chickpeas overnight and then grinding them raw, we create a mixture that fries up beautifully, resulting in falafel that’s crispy on the outside and delightfully fluffy on the inside.

This recipe also incorporates a generous amount of fresh herbs and aromatic spices, giving the falafel a vibrant flavor that stands out even without heavy sauces or toppings. The result is a versatile dish that’s delicious on its own, in a pita sandwich, or as part of a mezze platter.

The Magic of Dried Chickpeas

Using dried chickpeas is crucial for achieving the perfect falafel texture. Here’s why:

  • Dried chickpeas retain their starch content, which acts as a natural binder.
  • They provide a cleaner, more authentic chickpea flavor.
  • The raw, soaked chickpeas cook perfectly during the frying process, resulting in a tender interior.

Don’t be tempted to use canned chickpeas or to cook the dried chickpeas before grinding. These methods lead to a dense, pasty texture that’s far from ideal.

Herb and Spice Magic

This recipe uses a trifecta of fresh herbs – cilantro, parsley, and mint – along with aromatic spices like cumin and coriander. This combination creates a depth of flavor that elevates these falafel balls to gourmet status.

Size Matters

For the best texture and flavor, make your falafel balls small – about 1.5 inches in diameter. This ensures a higher ratio of crispy exterior to fluffy interior, maximizing the delightful contrast in textures.

Ultimate Homemade Falafel


  • 1/2 pound dried chickpeas (1 generous cup; 225g)
  • 2 ounces picked fresh cilantro, parsley, or mint leaves, or preferably a mixture of all three (about 2 cups; 55g)
  • 6 scallions, white and pale green parts only, sliced (about 2 ounces; 55g)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons; 10ml)
  • 1 teaspoon (about 4g) ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon (about 2g) ground coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons (about 10g) kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 to 3 cups (480 to 720ml) vegetable oil, for frying
  • Tahini sauce, hummus, and/or zhug (Yemenite hot sauce) for serving


  1. Begin by rinsing the chickpeas and placing them in a large bowl. Cover with cold water, ensuring there’s enough for the chickpeas to triple in volume. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight. The next day, drain, rinse, and carefully dry the chickpeas using a salad spinner.
  2. In a food processor, combine the soaked chickpeas, herbs, scallions, garlic, cumin, coriander, and salt. Pulse until the chickpeas are very finely minced, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. The mixture should barely hold together when squeezed into a ball. If not, process a little more.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 15 minutes. This resting period allows more starch to seep out of the chickpeas, improving the balls’ ability to hold their shape. Using a tablespoon measure, scoop out heaping spoonfuls of the mixture and gently shape each into a ball. Place them on a clean plate.
  4. Heat 3/4 inch of oil in a deep cast iron, carbon steel, or nonstick skillet to 375°F (190°C). Carefully lower the chickpea balls into the oil, leaving space between each. Cook until well browned on the bottom, then flip and cook the other side, about 4 minutes total. Maintain the oil temperature between 350 and 375°F (175 and 190°C). Transfer the cooked falafel to a paper towel-lined plate and immediately season with salt. Repeat with the remaining chickpea balls.
  5. Serve the falafel hot with tahini sauce, hummus, or stuffed into pita bread with fresh vegetables and pickles for a complete meal.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
473 Calories
30g Fat
41g Carbs
15g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 473
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 30g 38%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 997mg 43%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 8g 30%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 15g
Vitamin C 10mg 49%
Calcium 82mg 6%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 601mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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